The Plateau's hometown newspaper since 1900. Courier-Herald Home | Contact Us | Subscribe  

Bonney Lake Courier Herald World News Guestbook Community Gallery Archives Subscribe Online Features Finance Food & Recipes Health Lifestyles from ARA Horoscopes
February 2009
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Calendar of Events »
Submit an Event »


Mayor accused of violating law
Councilman sends letter to attorney general

By Kevin Hanson-The Courier-Herald Wednesday, February 4, 2009 1:23 PM CST
Print this story   -   Email this story

Enumclaw City Council Mike Ennis has charged Mayor John Wise with violating public disclosure laws and has asked the state’s attorney general to investigate.

Ennis dropped the bombshell near the end of an already-contentious meeting of the Enumclaw City Council Jan. 26.

The complaint revolves around the city’s ongoing effort to “brand” itself as a top-notch equestrian community and, specifically, the development of a logo to be used in that effort. A professional, paid consultant developed a preferred logo that city leaders showed to a few groups.

The consultant suggested that the logo be kept under wraps until the city could unveil a full campaign.

In a Jan. 26 letter to Wise, Ennis stated his dissatisfaction that, since the fall, the city has tried to keep the preferred logo from public view. He additionally criticized the consultant’s stated view that “democracy and logos do not mix.”

“I express my complete dissatisfaction with that philosophy,” Ennis wrote. “With few exceptions, every article of business discussed by any municipality is and rightly should be available to the public.”
In attempting to keep the logo hidden, Ennis charged in his letter, the mayor has created a “culture of secrecy” that puts Enumclaw at legal risk.

The letter Ennis sent to Tim Ford, the assistant attorney general for government accountability, leveled the same charges.

“The mayor has been very explicit in his attempt to ‘hide’ the process from public view,” Ennis wrote.

With that, Ennis invited the AG’s office to examine whether state laws were violated.

When Ennis introduced the topic during open session, Wise suggested the matter was best discussed behind closed doors in executive session. A quick survey of council members showed support for keeping the discussion in public view.

Adamantly disagreeing was Councilman Jeff Coats, who said he was “very embarrassed” that the atrtorney general’s office was contacted.

He reiterated that the city was told by its consultant to keep the logo under wraps and noted his belief that the Ennis letter was “ridiculous.”

Coats offered a motion that the full council ask Ennis to withdraw his letter to the AG’s office. His request died when no one stepped forward to second the motion.

Reach Kevin Hanson at or 360-802-8205.


Reader comments:

Cody wrote on Feb 10, 2009 11:26 PM:

" Jeff Coates is a pawn of the administration. He always sides with them. We have only 6 of the 7 council members representing this community.

Mark Bauer runs this city with an iron fist. John Wise has never had an original thought in his head.

Time for some accountability! "

DJ wrote on Feb 9, 2009 2:33 PM:

" When you review the broadcast of the last Council meeting you can see several things of note:
- Mark Bauer and the Mayor in private side conversations (makes it look like Mark is actually the one in charge and not the Mayor). Makes me question who is running things at City Hall.
- Appears that Councilman Coates is siding with Administration (again) in wanting to keep this issue quiet. Issues like this demand that the public be notified and informed of how their elected officials are acting. If they're not acting correctly, we, the people, have an obligation to vote them out of office.
- In trying the Gavel-down Councilman Ennis and Councilwoman Reynolds, The Mayor was incredibly rude and un-professional in his conduct. Makes me wonder if this is what he's really like outside the public eye. He owes them an apology. "

Karen Worthington wrote on Feb 9, 2009 1:28 PM:

" It is high time the Mayor and City Administrator were called on their childish and irresponsible behavior. I think that Councilman Ennis deserves a round of applause. "

AD wrote on Feb 7, 2009 7:08 AM:

" This is an election year for the Mayor. We need to take a look at how he has handled this issue and the Nestle bottled water plant and think about whether or not we want our city run this way. It may be time for a new mayor, city administrator, and city attorney. "

Gomer wrote on Feb 6, 2009 9:15 AM:

" Instead of impeaching the mayor because you don't agree with him, why don't you go to the next public meeting and become a gadfly. Expose the corruption! LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU'RE NOT GETTING YOUR PIECE OF THE PIE.The best place to look out for your own special interests is being the mayor or the city attorney. That makes them pretty smart and you very stupid. Remember, you can't fight city hall. "

Art Britton wrote on Feb 5, 2009 9:44 AM:

" Shame on you on the council who would not step forward and voice your favor of making the discussion of the matter public. The city administration of Enumclaw has earned the reputation of doing questionable things behind the publics back.Examples are the city not going by its own building codes and rules (example the jail building, , the unscrupulous taking of the Industrial Skills building,the breaking of their own rules in regards to the city property next to the Chamber of Commerce office, and the mayors trying to personally control the outlook of the city. Residents of Enumclaw you should wake up and smell the coffee. Your have a real conflict of interest in having the City Attorney controlling so much property in the city. He takes care of his properties, yes, but at what cost to the residents and other property owners. This is a time for openess not "

Citizen wrote on Feb 4, 2009 10:42 PM:

" Here Here!! Let's call for a recall for Mayor not-so-Wise and his henchman Mark Bauer! "

Dusty Baker wrote on Feb 4, 2009 3:06 PM:

" Enumclaw SHOULD be enbarrassed!
Not by Ennis' request to the AG, but about how Enumclaw conducts business in general.
Enumclaw has 'small town sickness' - not understanding there is talent and knowledge locally to undertake any municipal project. One example of this was the city contracting a CALIFORNIA firm to redesign Cole Street. Nobody local, to my knowledge was ever even asked if they were interested, let alone able to participate. Instead Enumclaw looks nothing like a 'modernized' Enumclaw, but is a vision of 'what it should look like.
Same thing is now happening with the 'logo'. What it 'should look like' and in reality what Enumclaw is are quite different and with egos clashing, the mayor (lower case intended) is pushing his personal preferences over what is good for Enumclaw. MUCH LIKE WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE NESTLE WATER DEBACLE!
Time to RECALL the secretive and underhanded mayor Wise. "

Current Word Count: