No fault does not mean no responsibility l Council Corner

By Anna Rohrbough, Mukilteo City Councilmember | Sep 05, 2018

While we did not create or choose to be in this situation, we as councilmembers are tasked with correcting the behavior and navigating our way forward together.

The misappropriation of public funds by our mayor was discovered shortly after we were blindsided by our budget deficit earlier this spring. As we, and I thank my fellow councilmembers for this, stayed persistent and patient, more truths were revealed.

I personally take responsibility for not seeing and finding the truth sooner. I wish we had caught it sooner. I apologize. It is now becoming clear to me the extensive pattern of misconduct.

I personally have learned that the mayor doesn’t respond when there are consequences to the city like she does when there are consequences to herself.

I did everything I could to avoid the vote of no confidence, but in the end it became apparent that nothing was changing, and the status quo would continue without public accountability.

Unfortunately, this is like an iceberg. The residents can see the tip, as the depth of this mountain of ice below reveals itself slowly.

I want Mukilteo residents to know that I will stick to the numbers and facts and, together with the other councilmembers, I will do everything I can to repair your trust in our City Council and governance.

I want and hope the city can move forward, and because of what I have learned, I will be even more diligent. I am on it, and together we will right this ship.

I am a little beat up, but I have come out stronger for this. I definitely am more confident in your desire to have the facts, to be educated and even more sure of your immense desire for leadership.

I have had over 100 responses from concerned citizens affirming the desire for even more transparency and gratitude for our council’s action. That says a lot about what you desire as well.

Unfortunately, there is continued blame being placed by our mayor and our former policy analyst on our city staff. I want to be clear – this is deceitful, a deflection and a clear denial of responsibility.

Most recently the mayor on record abdicated responsibility for the severance check signed by her – stating at the Aug. 27 worksession that the city checks were “automated,” clarifying that she “didn’t actually sign the check” for the severance contract.

The truth is that the mayor in this most recent payout to former policy analyst Marko Liias approved almost $30,000 of taxpayer funds to be paid out without going through the proper process set up to protect taxpayers’ monies, and denying the council the ability to carry out our role within our structure of government.

I invite you to read: RCW 35A 11.010 and RCW 35A 12.100. This severance contract among a few more that were implemented by Mayor Gregerson is clearly not in compliance with Washington’s RCWs.

I want to thank my fellow councilmembers who were persistent in finding the truth and for those who made this difficult decision along with me.

But even more, I thank you, the citizens, for your patience and, hopefully, understanding why and how we got to that vote.

Remaining hopeful.

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