Mayor ‘reshuffled the deck’ for Liias | Letter

Jul 16, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

I am responding to Mayor Jennifer Gregerson’s message in last week’s Beacon [“Reorganizing for results: Our new leadership team,” Mayor’s Message, page 4, July 9]. Reorganization for results.

I find it interesting that the mayor said she is saving money by all of this reorganization, when she is just using the money allotted in the 2014 budget. True savings is cutting the budget by reducing expenditures.

For example, when she campaigned for mayor, she said the city did not need a full-time city administrator and a full-time mayor, thus saving the city at least $120,000. She has not done that. She is just reshuffling the deck.

Regarding the policy analyst position, the mayor said she would hire a consultant to cover the duties for the policy analyst when Sen. Marko Liias is not able to meet the time obligations for the position. There will not be any cost savings there, either.

I am deeply troubled by this hire, as are many Mukilteo residents. Sen. Liias cannot effectively represent Mukilteo as a state senator when he is a Mukilteo city employee. He cannot lobby for the city when he is a city employee.

I also believe that he will not be very effective when representing the city when he is session in the state Legislature (if he is re-elected).

This has been a distraction for the City Council, and I am deeply disappointed in the mayor’s judgment in hiring her close friend, Sen. Liias.

When I heard first heard of the hire, my initial thoughts were “political payback” and “old-fashioned cronyism.” It’s been almost two months since Sen. Liias was hired, and those thoughts have not changed.

Steve Schmalz,

Mukilteo City Council

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