Letters: Response to Gary Harris (fmr. City Mayor), on questionable activities

April 10, 2023

I think Mike Millman and most of the current council are doing a fine job of listening to each other and being reasonable. Voting with another council member does not constitute wrongdoing nor violation of the open public meetings act. As Gary may remember from being part of the former council that censured a fellow council member, sometimes people step out of the boundaries voted on by councils and get voted to be censured. Gary was also part of a council who utilized a last-minute agenda item to remove a planning commission member without giving him (or the rest of the community) fair warning to come and speak in the commissioner’s behalf. I found that council meeting shocking and by far more unethical than RBC’s censure. So, any accusation of conversations violating the open public meetings act should immediately create some self-reflection on Gary’s behalf of his own behavior as a council member.

Gary Harris, shame on you presenting as a citizen who is leaning into the conversation. For history, Gary lost the most recent election to Mike Millman. Gary was mayor at a time when council laid some basic groundwork that has helped to allow the current council to move forward. The current council is moving forward with a number of plans put in motion by prior councils, including Gary’s. Personally, I’ve heard Mike giving credit to those prior councils. Someone being a “good sport” might have coffee with the current mayor (who is almost always available to discuss same or opposing opinions). I see Gary as being angry that Mike has accomplished tasks former councils could not and is instead choosing to fling bitter accusations of conspiracy theory in lieu of reaching out to the current mayor and sharing experiences to ensure a cohesive flow of learning. He does go to council meetings. He is right, you should watch the council meetings. You should observe how some people at the meetings attempt to work together and some attend meetings and fling mud and furor and turn our local politics into something with “sides”.

I expect my current and former council members to be better than this, and again want to state that I’m extremely happy with the behavior I see from mayor and our new council members and think Gary could do a lot better by sitting at a table with them and sharing history and thoughts.

Steph Young

Woodinville resident