Let a Real Attorney Rule

Asking the Everett city solicitor for rulings on important matters that concern the City Charter and Ethics should come to an end.

The City Council so relies on the city solicitor’s rulings that her rulings are often becoming de facto laws in contravention of the city charter and of a more simple law – that is- the law of what is right and what is clearly wrong.

Nearly everyone serving on the council understands the $40,000 a year longevity payment to the mayor is a farce and very likely is not allowed.

The city solicitor has ruled it is perfectly legal and OK. This ruling, despite her knowing as a lawyer the language indicates the mayor should be receiving $10,000 per term or $2500 per year – not $40,000.

Such rulings about matters connected to the mayor like an umbilical cord should not be asked of her, given by her or taken as the last word by those who asked.

Her allegiance to the mayor above all makes her rulings suspect. The longevity ruling proves this.

In other words, if the city solicitor says a wall painted red is actually white, the city council tends to believe her.

She takes the confusion expressed by the city council and intensifies it.

Then she delivers rulings that favor the mayor, and the not so unwitting city council is pleased that justice has been done. The law is subjective like everything else in life that we argue about.

Everett’s city solicitor gave up her independence years ago as the mayor consolidated his power base.

If the mayor put on the city council agenda that he wanted two councilors imprisoned who failed to vote with him on a development or an issue, most of the city councilors would ask for a ruling from the city solicitor.

“Can we do this?” a councilor might ask. Another councilor might say: “I want to do this but I need a ruling from the city solicitor. Are we allowed to place city councilors in jail?”

The city solicitor would likely return with a ruling that imprisoning the errant councilors is OK. Totally legal, just like the mayor’s longevity.

“Yes,” she might be expected to say. “You can put them in jail – in fact the law requires you to do that.”

The city council would sigh with relief that the city solicitor had shown them the way. Then the two councilors would be imprisoned.

The language of truth is plain and simple.

The last thing the city council gets from the city solicitor is the truth.

The council should awaken to this fact and act accordingly by asking outside counsel to make important rulings that involve the mayor’s political games.

The last place we get any justice is in a court of law.

The city solicitor’s legal reasoning is colored by her allegiance to the mayor.

Her rulings on matters connected to the mayor are not to be trusted, and certainly not by the city council.

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