Public service, not salary, is key | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
June 30, 2011 · 7:43 AM
To the editor:
I am not sure why the Seitles in recent letters to the editor say what they say, I don’t know if they are purposely being disingenuous, or simply mistaken in their recollection of events, or their understanding of the facts at hand.
I will take Rolf at his word that this is not about personalities, though my experience with them both has been different.
In Mr. Seitle’s letter he starts out by saying the last three mayor’s had no competition. Please tell that to Will Collins who ran against me, Barney Hein who ran against Lloyd Furman (in his first term) or Alana Marstan who ran against Mayor Lash.
Mayor Paul announced very early, giving anyone a chance to file with plenty of time to spare, and logic tells me that was because the electorate were happy with that choice.
He goes on to talk about costs of our current system when he must have read that the only candidate for mayor, Larry Kwarsick, said he would accept $21,000 per year.
An elected official may give back a portion of their pay, or as I did in my second year as mayor, return it all. To me, that eviscerates the rest of the compensation package part of Mr. Seitle’s argument. He does not mention all the costs of searching for, paying for the move (in many cases temporary housing) much less the compensation package for a city manager or the fact that only one city in the whole state near our size, over 2,000, has a city manager.
You also do not know what you are getting regardless of the thoroughness of the search.
He also slides in the little zinger, “Issues are decided at the mayor level often with little transparency.”
Issues, Mr. Seitle, are discussed in open city council meetings where the council makes the decision and policy, the mayor administrates that.
Is it perfect? No. Is changing our form of government desirable or necessary? In my opinion, no. Especially when we have someone as qualified as Larry Kwarsick willing to do the job for what I was getting in 2008.
In her letter to the editor a couple of weeks ago Mrs. Seitle said they had a nice discussion of the three forms of government available to a city such as Langley. I am sorry I missed that meeting as there are only two. Facts count.
Again, to me, the biggest problem I have with all this is getting elected to anything in a small town should be about public service, not a career, not about power, but about public service.