A lesson in civics or a lesson on how to/not to represent one’s constituents? Not having been in attendance at any of the meetings but having seen similar situations play out, I’d like to offer a couple of comments on what I have read in your columns and letters to the editor.
Where did the term “strong” mayor originate? According to RCW 35A12.100, the mayor has duties and authority over city operations but can do nothing else without the consent of a council majority. On the legislative side, which would be the City Council, RCW35A.11.020 – Powers vested in Legislative Bodies of Non-Charter and Charter Code Cities – the legislative body of each code city shall have the power to organize and regulate its internal affairs and to define the functions, powers and duties of its officers and employees.
While there is more to each RCW, I believe those excerpts show where each portion of governance should originate and who is within their rights to do what is being done.
Attorneys – the city attorney will represent the executive’s viewpoint if they want to continue being employed as city attorney, while the council has the authority to include within a budget the necessary dollars for their own representation. The City Council majority sets and votes on the final budget.
As for city police being involved, that’s not a good way to go about things. Eventually there will be hard feelings regardless of the outcome. Police need the support and trust of their community. We had a similar incident in our city, upon review with Municipal Research it was found they were in error and the mayor also for directing them to threaten that council member. As Municipal Research explained, council members are elected to represent the people and they have a right to express their opinions as they are the citizens’ elected representatives.
Other than that, I wish the elected representatives of Black Diamond well in their desire to represent their constituents’ desires.