EVERETT — Between them, they spent 85 years in Snohomish County government.
That’s 21 terms and 65 years in the Treasurer’s Office alone.
Two Sievers men, father Verne and son Kirke, are now immortalized on the grounds that serve as the county seat.
Kirke Sievers was on hand as Sievers Plaza was dedicated Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony marking their decades of public service.
“Was it service or was it a hostage situation?” County Executive Dave Somers joked while speaking at the ceremony.
Somers was joined by Council Chairman Terry Ryan. Also on hand were Bob Drewel, a former county executive, as well as County Councilman Sam Low, who served as master of ceremonies. All four showered a packed plaza with stories of the Sievers.
Low first suggested honoring Verne and Kirke with the plaza dedication last September.
“When I thought about (Verne’s) 40 years of service and then Kirke’s 45 years of service, I thought, 85 years of service. When are we ever going to see that?” he said.
Verne Sievers began the family reign in Snohomish County in 1935 after being elected county auditor the year prior. He served two terms before being elected treasurer in 1942. A hiatus to serve in World War II didn’t alter Verne’s career path. He returned from war and was elected to serve as treasurer until his retirement in 1974. He died in 1990.
After Kirke read about his father not running for reelection in the newspaper, the younger Sievers made his run for treasurer. He spent 20 years in the office before a 12-year stint on the county council.
In 2008, Kirke ran for treasurer again. He has been there ever since.
“Well they both loved the county and they both worked really hard for the county for many years, so it makes me happy that they are being recognized in such a nice way,” said Patti Sievers, Kirke’s wife.
The timing couldn’t have been more fitting as Kirke enters the final months of his political tenure. On Dec. 31, the Sievers’ 85-year, stretch of Snohomish county service will come to an end.
Kirke, 76, asked his wife, Patti, about another term, but after a reminder of the hardships of reelection, he acquiesced and retired.
While a Sievers won’t be on the county courthouse grounds each day, the family is excited to have a monument honoring Verne and Kirke.
“It’s pretty awesome, I would never have imagined something like this,” Jeff Sievers, Kirke’s son, said. “The whole family is excited. We will look forward to coming up here and paying our taxes in person and seeing the plaza.”
Through the mentorship of peers, the Sievers duo has ensured their impact won’t fade from Snohomish County government.
“Kirke and his dad have invested in hundreds of lives in the county,” Low said. “The legacy is going to continue. Although there’s not going to be a Siever here, that legacy will continue on.”