Letters: City Hall, appreciation, and remembrance
Last updated 8/29/2018 at Noon
Happy (belated) anniversary
I want to congratulate Paul and Catherine Archipley and the entire staff of the Mukilteo Beacon for 25 years of reporting the news and views of this community.
In this day and age of social media and instant messaging, the hometown newspaper has, in many cases, become a quaint, amusing curiosity of the past, but The Beacon has managed to change with the times and remain relevant and vital.
Congratulations on a job well done!
Open letter to Mayor Gregerson
I write this letter to the honorable mayor of the city of Mukilteo,
As a citizen of this great city, I feel compelled to write this open letter to you after carefully reading and examining the article that The Beacon published on Aug. 8, 2018.
As an American, I firmly believe in the American way of life in an open society and the unique concept and idealism of American democracy, which should be cherished by all Americans. Every American has his or her birthright privileges that they are entitled to be treated fairly and equally under the law.
As the sitting mayor, you have the executive power, but the city council should maintain control of the purse. Your disregard for proper procedure and your arbitrary decision-making is a complete contradiction to American democracy. Additionally, authorizing a reimbursement without the proper verification of a receipt is, in my opinion, negligence of duty. No sound business pays an invoice without proper documentation.
The mayor must pay very close attention to every aspect of the city business, which does not appear to be the case as it stands today. Furthermore, the mayor must communicate with the members of the council more openly and honestly to achieve the best outcomes for the citizens of Mukilteo.
Lastly, I hope that you will someday increase your dialogue with the citizens of this community outside of the campaign year, and better inform us of the status of progress.
I commend Councilmember Rohrbough for standing up and making it clear that these behaviors are not reflective of our expectations for the office of the mayor.
I cast a vote of confidence for Mayor Gregerson
As did 54-plus percent of voters in the last election.
Were the Marko Liias issues a stumble? Yes. While she shares some of the blame, I also fault him.
He should be here speaking to the council. It's the mayor (I know, the buck stops with her) who's taking the flak, while he is free of scrutiny.
The extra severance pay really sticks in my craw. Gorging at the public trough isn’t new to politics; take a look at the current administration in D.C.
I think (I hope) she realizes her decisions regarding Marko were seen by the public, including her supporters, as questionable.
As to education funds, allowing employees to receive money to further their education is normal in the business community. Of course it has to be accounted for. It’s the severance pay that raises the hackles.
It’s my understanding that she has the receipt for Marko's class and in the future, any separation (like severance pay) issues will be discussed with council. That should end the brouhaha.
I hope she realizes there are folks who’d like her job, (probably Mr. Matthews who ran against her and lost), and likely a few on council.
It’s imperative Mayor Gregerson that you follow policies and not end run around a council that’s waiting for you to make another questionable decision, particularly with finances.
That’s their job, and while I see some as a bit overzealous, we elected them to watch for frivolous spending and I’m glad they’re doing so. My tax dollars count and I expect to see they’re spent wisely.
Speaking of frivolous spending, I agree with another writer that the annual D.C. trip seems a waste, given Mukilteo's financial struggles.
"Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, City Council Vice President Christine Cook, and Councilmembers Bob Champion, Richard Emery and Anna Rohrbough will visit Washington, D.C. next week (March 11-15, 2018) for the National League of Cities annual conference to advocate for NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Mukilteo."
Really? Five of you needed to go? That's a stretch, and I don't recall objections from other councilmembers about that trip.
I feel Mayor Gregerson is the best mayor Mukilteo has had in a long time (maybe with the exception of Brian Sullivan) and that she’s done a lot for Mukilteo.
It’s my hope she’ll learn from the Marko mistakes and continue working to make Mukilteo a better place.
Mayor Gregerson, in the immortal words of Gladys Knight, "You're too strong not to keep on keeping on."
Solution to no confidence in Mukilteo mayor
On the same day (Aug. 24) that I read in The Beacon about the no confidence motion in the mayor passed by the Mukilteo City Council, I also read that Australia had a new Prime Minister.
Now for those not so familiar with the parliamentary system of government used in Australia, (also U.K. and Canada), the PM is not directly elected like a U.S. president, but rather chosen by the members of the majority party in the (lower) House of Representatives. So if the PM loses the confidence of those in his party, they can depose him/her at any time and choose someone else.
That is what happened in Australia.
Why do I mention all this? Maybe we could solve the problem with the Mukilteo mayor by eliminating the office of mayor and replace it with a “Chief Councilor,” or perhaps Prime Councilor.
That person would be chosen by the council from among themselves and could be deposed at any time if they started going rogue.
Perhaps a large city such as Los Angeles or New York needs an elected mayor, but for a city with just 20,000 residents, really?
How much ribbon cutting and baby kissing is there to do?
All the other administrative functions that need a “point person” could be done by the Chief Councilor.
I’ll let those more schooled in things legal and legislative comment on whether this is even remotely possible.
Thoughts on no confidence vote
The city council action of Aug. 20 (“Council votes no confidence in mayor’s leadership,” Aug. 22 edition of The Beacon) is a necessary statement that city funds are not discretionary funds of the elected.
The taxpayer funds are a public trust and no impropriety or partiality should be tolerated. I thank the council for bringing this to our attention.
Remembering Sen. John McCain
May we all consider the following words from Sen. John McCain: "We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment, hatred and violence in all corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.”