By Richard Wright
Executive Aaron Reardon has been a friend and acquaintance of mine for some time. Like many politicos and citizens around the county I’ve watched his career and actively campaigned for him in years past. While no doubt he has a legacy that some will debate — he started his career for the same reasons many get involved in politics and public service — to bring positive change.
Bringing positive change is why I chose to seek the chairmanship of the Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee. I’ve proudly spent the better part of the last twelve or so years working hard alongside others for our party and for the purpose of bringing positive change. For me, and the organization I lead, we find that the path to positive change is illuminated by four words: Hope, Community, Empowerment and Progress. I’m sure the executive would agree that these four words can bring about amazing opportunity even from the most challenging of circumstances. We’ve seen these words shape history time and time again. In many ways they shape our democracy and form the foundation of country.
In practice, every election is based on hope, community, empowerment and progress. Not long ago the citizens of our community were empowered with the choice of deciding who they wanted to serve and bring progress to our county. They clearly chose Aaron Reardon in that election. Now, after a number of questions of public trust have been levied and the toll that has taken on the office, the county staff, and the executive himself — it’s time to move on. He’s announced his resignation and a time to press forward as a county and community is upon us. For the continued and future success of our county hinges on leadership that garners confidence from the public it serves.
As part of the process in filling a partisan vacancy the Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee will be choosing three nominees to move forward for final consideration by the Snohomish County Council. We are confident we will forward three exceptional nominees, any of whom could hit the ground running to guarantee continuity of government, start the healing process and begin to restore the public trust. All things that I’m sure the people of the county want to see.
Clearly there is public interest in a quick, successful resolution and in moving the county forward. For many, this means they’d like their moment of hope, community, empowerment and progress. For many will want the executive to resign earlier than he has announced and a vote this year on the ballot, with the replacement serving the shortest time before needing to face election. There are certainly arguments to be made for adding a special short-term election to this year’s ballot. It gives the citizens of the county their voice in the matter at the soonest possible moment. It would potentially begin the healing on a grander scale and give us all a moment to begin progress as a community.
Your Snohomish County Democrats stand ready to fulfill the role that the law and situation require of us as a political party. We also hope the community will be empowered with their decision earlier, so that we might all share in the process and get back to the business of the people.
Aaron Reardon will always be a friend of mine. Like many people we’ll always make different choices and approach things as we need to — as individuals. He’ll leave behind a strong fiscal legacy, among other things; however, how he chooses to write his final chapter as executive is truly up to him. My hope is that he’ll write the chapter with the quickest path to progress for our county and our citizens. With that behind him he can best begin his next endeavor and the county can move forward.
Richard Wright was elected chairman of the Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee in December 2012.