Aaron Reardon laments political sparring with council

EVERETT — The “personal and destructive” tenor of local politics dominated much of Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon’s annual speech that usually sums up the status of the local economy.

Reardon used Thursday’s State of the County speech to lament that too much is at stake to allow “petty bickering and politics of personal destruction” to continue between his office and the five county councilmen.

The executive vowed to improve communication and said he took responsibility for creating some of the friction.

“From this day forward, I am willing to bend over backwards to improve the communication and relationship between our two branches,” he said. “But communication and relationship-building is a two-way street. It happens between individuals, not on the front pages of local newspapers.”

Council Chairman Dave Gossett, who was among about 100 people at the Everett Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast, agreed that better dialogue was in order.

“I do find it ironic that the executive has consistently cancelled meetings where issues could be discussed privately, and chooses a major public speech to argue we shouldn’t communicate through the newspaper,” Gossett said.

In particular, Gossett said Reardon had cancelled the past two leadership meetings, which are scheduled every other week between the two branches of government. Another leadership meeting is scheduled this morning.

The council has taken recent moves to check up on Reardon’s oversight in two key areas. One is the department that handles the county’s computer and printing needs. Another is how Reardon reviews worker complaints of harassment and discrimination.

They also differ about the county budget.

In his speech, Reardon predicted that county leaders would have to adjust the council’s $202.7 million 2010 general-fund budget. Unions have not agreed to the five unpaid days off in the council’s budget. Reardon’s budget included 15 furlough days for county workers.

Projections for the county’s future are troubling, Gossett said.

The county’s $14 million in reserves is enough to keep assets liquid and pay bills. A recent five-year forecast, however, shows that reserves could dwindle to nothing by 2015.

He cautioned that those numbers are only preliminary and could change.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

Trainer Marcia Henton feeds Lolita the killer whale, also known as Tokitae and Toki, inside her stadium tank at the Miami Seaquarium on Saturday, July 8, 2023, in Miami, Fla. After officials announced plans to move Lolita from the Seaquarium, trainers and veterinarians are now working to prepare her for the move. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS)
Ashes of orca Tokitae finally home after her death last month in Miami

Her ashes will be scattered in a private ceremony by members of the Lummi Nation.

A Coast Guard cutter searches for a crashed chartered floatplane near Mutiny Bay Monday afternoon in Freeland, Washington on September 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Wife of pilot killed in Whidbey Island floatplane crash files lawsuit

This is the lawsuit filed against companies associated with the aircraft’s operations and manufacturing.

June Robinson
Everett senator will head state Senate’s budget-writing committee

Come 2024, Sen. June Robinson will lead the Ways and Means Committee, giving her power in deciding the state budget.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin gives an address to the city council of her proposed 2024 budget at the Everett Police Department North Precinct in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett mayor presents balanced budget for 2024; future deficit looms

If approved by the City Council, the $438 million budget will fund more police staff, parks and infrastructure.

Most Read