County council job too demanding to split with legislative job

I am shocked that there is a possibility that two Snohomish County council members could serve on the council and the state Legislature at the same time. Why is it OK to split representation between two distinct jobs? This is dismissive of the duties of both the county and legislative offices and disrespectful of the public.

I feel strongly that the role of council members is to meet with the public, take time to investigate issues between council meetings, to do some research, some planning, and to write reasonable policies that are of critical importance to constituents. A lot of questions come up about double-dipping:

• Should we require that council members, who are also state legislators, take a leave of absence from their job as county council member, while the legislature is in session?

• Should the council appoint an interim council member when the legislature is in session?

• And, should this leave of absence also require a cut in salary during the legislative session?

Snohomish County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. I was under the impression that a county council seat is a full-time job, with professional salary and generous benefits. I think the people of Snohomish County deserve council members who are fully committed to representing the county alone.

The Legislature meets, alternate years, for 60 days or 105 days. I don’t think it is acceptable that Snohomish County Council members would be out of office for such a long period of time. I urge the council to consider only candidates who are willing to commit their full energies to representing constituents of District 3.

I think the council should look closely at the rules and expectations for serving on the council. If it is a job for a dabbler, then let’s offer a dabbler salary and benefits. I hope the county council will consider these questions and rectify this unethical situation. We deserve better.

Charles Angell


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