In the interest of full transparency (outside of executive session documents, anyway!) we are reposting information that Edmonds City Councilmember DJ Wilson just published on his blog site regarding the Council’s action to censure him. Included are links to a voice mail that Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper left asking for Wilson’s help, as well as a detailed memo that Wilson sent Oct. 2 to Mark Bucklin, attorney for the Washington Cities Insurance Authority, the liability insurance pool the city belongs to.
Last night, an irresponsible Council took an amazingly irresponsible action.
By introducing a motion of censure, at 11:00 pm, and without having put the item on the agenda for public notice, they put bad politics over good government. With the election one week away, the motion came from a co-chair of my opponent’s campaign. It was made up of facts that were inaccurate or facts that were irrelevant.
But the facts here did not matter. This action was about politics alone.
I have done nothing wrong.
I acted at the repeated request of the mayor, and with the direct and clear authorization of the city attorney.
The very first thing I did when I heard about a motion of censure was to request a public hearing from Council President Strom Peterson. I wanted all of Edmonds to see what was happening in executive session. I was denied.
I requested the support of legal counsel. I was denied.
Through my attorney, paid for by my personal funds, I requested a public hearing again yesterday. Again, I was denied. Council President Peterson has at his discretion the ability to schedule a hearing, but he chose not to. The law is clear on this matter (42.30.110(1)(f)) – I have the right to a public hearing. For political reasons, that right was denied.
I have made every effort to inform the Council of my actions. They responded with “no thank you.” In fact, in executive session, they asked me to leave the room rather than present the facts. When I asked Council President Peterson if he would like to read my full testimony regarding Kim Cole’s separation, he said “I don’t need to do that.”
City government is not a social club. By denying me my right to a public hearing, adopting a resolution they know to be factually inaccurate, and by holding illegal executive sessions on the matter, this Council and its members commit at least 4 crimes for misconduct of public officers.
In the interest of the public and of full disclosure, and as a public officer of the City of Edmonds, I have no choice but to forward this matter to the prosecutor for investigation.
This is a distraction from the important work we have before us in Edmonds – like solving our budget crisis, fully funding public safety, and keeping our streets safe. The list goes on and on. We have important work to do that can have a real, positive influence in the lives of our community. Instead, this results only in embarrassment.
We deserve better than the behavior and actions of this Council.