Sultan’s mayor needs to change approach now

It certainly didn’t take long for Sultan City Hall to make the headlines again.

Earlier this year the council was pondering a retreat to be facilitated by a consultant with an assault conviction. When that news hit the street, newly hired city administrator Roy Bysegger stepped in to save the day. Now it’s out that council members were told of Bysegger’s firings from two other jobs, but they didn’t realize that he was once charged with five felonies for alleged misuse of a city credit card when he worked in Susanville, Calif. All charges were dropped and he resigned.

New Mayor C.H. Rowe was behind both the facilitator choice and providing information to the council.

Last year’s elections were barely over when former city administrator Bill Trippett suddenly resigned, only to embroil himself in a legal battle with the city and former employees. The controversy has included accusations of defamatory statements and a sexually charged atmosphere at city hall. In resigning, Trippett cited the new mayor and council heading in a different direction as one of his reasons for leaving.

Rowe has done little to reverse the negative image that developed for the city in the first year of his first term. In fact, he has perpetuated it.

Rowe’s decisions are baffling given his reputation of honesty and integrity. His argument that information about the dropped charges was available to council members in a background report smacks of Clintonesque reasoning and doesn’t explain why he kept quiet about it.

Council members seem to like Bysegger and compliment the work he’s done during his eight months with the city. Bysegger explained his earlier troubles as simply being a part of politics. He said that previous employers "needed a scapegoat."

"Controversy is always going to come up," Bysegger said in a news report.

Now Bysegger has one more tidbit to add to his resume — thanks to Rowe’s failure to communicate with the council more fully.

Perhaps Sultan’s latest soap opera is a result of poor communication skills. Maybe Rowe deserves the benefit of the doubt one more time. If that’s the case, he needs to improve in that area — now. Sultan needs a leader who isn’t going to drop more unpleasant surprises on the council and the city.

That goes for the rest of the city’s government. Elected officials and employees shouldn’t need any more second chances.

But, don’t hold your breath. Considering the antics we’ve seen so far, nothing should surprise anyone after this.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

RGB version
Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Feb. 22

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Jaime Benedict, who works as a substitute teacher, waves to drivers on the corner of Mukilteo Speedway and Harbor Pointe Boulevard while holding a sign in support of the $240 million capital bond proposal for Mukilteo School District on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 in Mukilteo, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Bar set unfairly high for passage of school bonds

Requiring 60 percent approval denies too many students the schools and facilities they deserve.

Comment: Presidential primary launches state’s election season

With ballots in the mail, here’s what to know and how to prepare for making your choice for U.S. president.

Keep Clark Park gazebo; it holds memories for many

Just want to put my two cents in about the removal of… Continue reading

Focus more effort on preventing opioid addiction

A recent Herald editorial cited a report from U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen’s… Continue reading

Navalny’s death loss for Russia, world

The world was informed recently that Alexei Navalny died in a Russian… Continue reading

Comment: Primaries offers chance to judge vote-by-mail’s success

So far, state caucuses and primaries have seen low turnout. Will mailed ballots see higher participation?

Editorial cartoons for Wednesday, Feb. 21

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, Feb. 20

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

A leasing sign in visible outside of A’cappella Apartment Homes on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Cap on rent can keep more people in their homes

The legislation balances affordability with the need to encourage growth in the stock of housing.

Election signs line a section of Mukilteo Blvd. in Everett. (Sue Misao / Everett Herald)
Editorial: Switch of local elections may be premature

Adding local elections to even-year ballots could boost participation but election officials have concerns.

"Law & Order" cast members (from left) S. Epatha Merkerson, Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson are shown with episode director Marisol Torres on the show's set in New York, in April 2008. (Bernadette Tuazon / Associated Press file photo)
Editorial: Leave the interrogation ruses to the TV cop shows

A House bill would limit the use of deceptive interrogations that have resulted in wrongful convictions.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.