Much has been swirling around Tuesday night’s Edmonds City Council resolution that voided two “purported separation agreements” that Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper made with his former executive assistant, Kim Cole, who resigned Sept. 22.
To review, the resolution read by Council President Strom Peterson noted that the mayor had no authority to enter into such agreements. A mayor can contract “for goods and services valued at less than $100,000,” but the agreements with Cole did not fall into either of those categories, the resolution said.
We asked Cooper via email for a statement regarding the situation; in particular regarding the language that he had no authority to enter into such agreements notwithstanding initial advice to the contrary. Here’s his statement:
“I did what I felt was in the best interest of the city based on the legal advice I received on September 22nd. I respect the council’s authority as the legislative branch of government to do what they did with the advice they were given; that is how the separation of powers works in a representative democracy. This is a delicate personnel matter that cannot and should not be debated in public. I will be consulting with the city attorney to discuss next steps.”