I attended the Sunnyside City Council meeting on Monday and was struck by the cavalier attitude the council has when it comes to spending our money.
First, they had two contract attorneys at the council meeting at $175 per hour each. The attorneys were there for the executive session that was scheduled. The executive session was called to try and fix the mess the council made when it did not have the proper resolutions prepared and passed when they fired Eric Swansen. Instead of moving the executive session to the beginning of the meeting, thereby saving approximately an hour and a half of attorneys' time, or $525, they kept the attorneys waiting until the end of the meeting.
The council also failed to send Eric Swansen the notice required under the RCW's until July 2. This will cost at least one more month of pay for Mr. Swansen (approximately $8,500). It also appears that the council only passed motions when it fired Mr. Swansen, and has yet to pass the resolutions required by the RCW's to terminate him. This error may very well start the clock all over again and cost the citizens of Sunnyside 20 to 30 thousand additional dollars.
Last, but not least, the council discussed hiring an interim city manager at the cost of $84 per hour and $500 per week living expenses. Based on a 40-hour work week (highly unlikely for an involved city manager) and working 49 weeks per year, the cost of this is over $189,000 per year, nearly twice the salary of Mr. Swansen.
But, what does it matter? It's not their money. We get all of this from the council that cuts cops and could not find $5,000 for fireworks for the 4th of July.
/s/ Don Vlieger, Sunnyside