Our City Manager and our Mayor have failed our citizens. When confronted in September with information that Sean Kelly had moved out of the city, they placed their heads in the sand. As a result, voters were disenfranchised by not being given accurate information regarding his eligibility to hold office.
Why didn’t they investigate? Did they know he was ineligible and planned to appoint someone they approved of after the election? Or were they just clueless about the law?
After the news broke in the Mill Creek Beacon, the Mayor’s “City News” column in the September 22nd issue of the Mill Creek View made it sound like simply a personal matter, and not the city's problem.
If that was true, then why did Sean Kelly have to pay back his salary for four months (August - November)?
The responsibility and power of our City Manager according to Washington State RCW.35A.13.080 is as follows:
“To see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully executed, subject to the authority which the council may grant the mayor to maintain law and order in times of emergency.”
Further, our Mill Creek Municipal code states:
“A. For their complete term of office, council members shall maintain as their primary place of abode a residence having a street address within the city limits of the city of Mill Creek, Washington.”
“B. It is the intent of this section that council members shall physically reside within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city of Mill Creek for their term of office, subject to excuse of the city council; provided, however, that such excuse shall be consistent with Washington State statutory and constitutional requirements.”
City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto and our Mayor, Pam Pruitt, had every legal and moral responsibility to fully investigate when Sean Kelly stated he no longer lived in Mill Creek in September prior to the November election.
I expect our elected officials to follow our laws and not to leave it up to individual citizens to take up a legal challenge on behalf of the citizens of Mill Creek. We now have a second legal challenge from another citizen to try and resolve the issue.
Our City Council did not receive any legal counsel about the situation until after November’s election. Why did they delay so long?
We still have no comment from the City about how the vacant city council seat will be filled.
This situation has caused me to doubt our City Manager’s knowledge of her responsibilities and the law.
Putting your head in the sand and waiting for someone else to resolve this important matter is no way to lead.