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

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, May 28

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

File - A teenager holds her phone as she sits for a portrait near her home in Illinois, on Friday, March 24, 2023. The U.S. Surgeon General is warning there is not enough evidence to show that social media is safe for young people — and is calling on tech companies, parents and caregivers to take "immediate action to protect kids now." (AP Photo Erin Hooley, File)
Editorial: Warning label on social media not enough for kids

The U.S. surgeon general has outlined tasks for parents, officials and social media companies.

President Joe Biden meets with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., to discuss the debt limit in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, May 22, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Comment: A brief history of risks and outcomes of debt crises

Past debt ceiling and budget crises in 1995, 2011 and 2013 offer perspective on the current situation.

Election denier Sutherland shouldn’t run for county auditor

I am offended by and angry at Robert Sutherland who is running… Continue reading

Local businesses should offer summer programs for STEM students

I wish to thank The Herald for providing STEM student Nicole Piedrahita… Continue reading

Comment: Hospice care isn’t giving up; it’s a gift of time, love

End-of-life care offers patients and families comfort, better quality of life and time to say goodbye.

Comment: Veterans struggling with addiction need our support

Connect veterans with the services they need through encouragement, understanding and advocacy.

Comment: State, local libraries rebuilding lives after prison

For those leaving prison, a library card is key to starting again. A new program offers that key.

Forum: Imagine our losses without Endangered Species Act

Marking its 50th year, the act has saved numerous species of animals and plants and their habitats.

Most Read