By Josh Resnek
The mayor came to the city council hearings at city hall Saturday with a secret appropriation hidden inside a $208 million budget proposal that was being gone over to identify cuts and savings.
Just to show the council exactly where he stands on savings, the mayor put himself in for a $12,000 a year stipend for automobile expenses he accrues during an average workweek driving his car around the city.
Councilor Fred Capone let the cat out of the bag initially, bringing the $12,000 item onto the council floor for public debate.
“I am suggesting we cut the automobile allowance to $700 a month,” Capone told his colleagues.
The mayor grimaced.
He grew outraged.
What followed will go down in the annals of Everett City government history as one of the most outrageous responses by a mayor in the public forum to a pay raise he granted to himself at a hearing where budget cutting was being attempted.
The mayor said $12,000 is nothing considering the size of the budget and compared with what he has done for the city.
He implied with the full force of his angry argument, that he is, as he often says, “owed,” for everything he has done for the councilors and for the city.
“Nobody would ever have done what I did,” he said angrily.
“I’m the one who has done everything, who’s brought everything in…I employ 5,500 people down the street,” he said pointing his finger, fixing the white sweatshirt he wore to the meeting.