Telling it like it is

By Kevin Stoltz, Mukilteo City Councilmember | Jul 11, 2012

About six years ago when the Beacon’s publisher, Paul Archipley, and myself were discussing me writing a monthly column as an elected official, I thought it was a good idea. The idea was to tell it like it is from the inside.

I think I’ve done a pretty good job at that and even though I’ve often found myself siding with the minority opinion on the council, I’ve also found that over the years I’ve been able to say, “I told you so” more than probably anybody I’ve served with.

Unfortunately, if you’re able to say, “I told you so,” it means you weren’t effective at convincing others that yours is actually the correct view.

Everyone has their opinions as to why this happens, and I’m no different. It’s no secret the mayor and I don’t always agree and I’m not a fan of the tactics he uses to garner support for his agenda.

Despite the recent attempts at damage control and diverting the blame for Mukilteo’s recent IT problems to others, I think it’s becoming clear to many the “hens are coming home to roost.”

Regarding the recent letters about me, first I’d like to thank those of you who wrote and have contacted me directly with your positive comments and support for what I try to do. I really appreciate it and have a great deal of admiration for those of you who make the effort to be part of the informed minority.

I’m really not sure how to respond to the negative letters except to say, I’m really not sure what you’re hoping to accomplish. It seems like you’re exemplifying your perceived complaint about me.

However, in an effort to respond to the accusations, I offer the following:

1. I’m pretty sure the majority of the council understands and supports my right to have a dissenting position, as I do them, even if we don’t always agree. Specifically, I’m pretty sure Councilmembers Jennifer Gregerson, Randy Lord, Richard Emory and Steve Schmalz get it.

2. I don’t think “team player” is what the Kevin critics really want. A few years ago another councilmember said something to me that stuck, “The mayor’s a team player as long as you’re on his team.” Well maybe that is what they want.

3. I really can’t relate to the motivation of some who are leaders of great community groups coming out and criticizing a sitting councilmember. This type of behavior is divisive within your own group and its relationship with others in the community. To what end?

4. The council chats that Councilmember Schmalz (with a ‘Z’) and myself are holding are consistently better attended than council meetings and are a great opportunity to actually discuss your criticisms with the accused. If you really have a problem with me, why not come to a council chat or even a council meeting, for that matter?

5. Mukilteo has become pretty apathetic and, unfortunately, it’s beginning to catch up with us. If I’m really that controversial and it livens up the commentary in the Beacon, I say bring it on.

6. I know Paul Archipley has offered previous and current mayors and councilmembers the same opportunity as myself to write regularly in the Beacon. I’m the only one who has consistently followed through with my commitment to him. I have the same commitment to Mukilteo residents as a councilmember and I really don’t care if some, including the mayor and his cronies, want to criticize me for it.

I am actually on an Unlimited Hydroplane racing TEAM and seem to do pretty well in a team environment. However, I’m not sure being a “team player” as it appears to be defined in the previous Beacon letters is really in the best interest of our community.

Unfortunately, in reality there are a lot worse things going on in our city government than what I choose to put down on paper. So, if you don’t like what I write, no one is forcing you to read it.

And if the Kevin critics want to hear from other electeds regularly, maybe you should put the pressure on them.

The preceding feature is published the second Wednesday of each month for The Beacon and is the opinion of Kevin Stoltz and may or may not represent the views of the Mukilteo City Council.

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