Letter: Snohomish’s manager has cost city plenty

Regarding Karen Guzak’s letter, “Passing Prop. 2 in Snohomish will mean paying two managers”: It’s important to have perspective when considering this vote. Since this effort was launched, which I have had no part in, I’ve watched not only our mayor but a good portion of the council essentially mistreat citizens who don’t share their desire to leave the system as it is. Several videos posted on the Facebook page “Snohomish Citizens for Responsible Government” show this.

Larry Bauman has been the city administrator since just after 2000. In that time, there have been several massive failures. These include hiring a police chief who quit after misusing city email,which cost the city taxpayers handsomely. There was the issue of citizens being sued to recoup fees that were never paid by the developer, which again cost the citizens handsomely. There was the cancellation of the annual motorcycle show, which downtown businesses suffered the loss of for years due to unfounded suspicions about “renegade” bikers. Yet, our council not only did not hold Bauman accountable, they gave hin raise after raise. Why?

I don’t know. What I do know is we continue to follow the same path and continue to see taxes used to compensate for unnecessary mistakes. Changing our form of government, if nothing else, gives us a chance to go in a new direction. Having a full-time mayor, with appropriate compensation, gives us a chance to appeal to some of very capable citizens.

We pay our administrator $197,560 in salary and benefits. Guzak asserts this is competitive relative to other cities our size. What I did not see was any data to back that up. Assuming Guzak gets paid another $10,000-$15,000, I am certain we could appeal to some very capable professionals in Snohomish.

Matt Greenway


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