KOMO-TV Cy Sun
After just a half-year in a job he won as a write-in candidate, Pacific mayor Cy Sun could end up with his name on a new ballot to write him out of office. Talk of recalling the crusty, 82-year-old war vet is the work of critics who claim "I?m ruining the city with my crazy, stupid ways of being a mayor," Sun complains.
KOMO-TV Cy Sun
Thing is, after six months at the helm, he says he's already saved the little south King County burg more than $260,000.
His opponents challenge that savings claim, much like they've challenged his take-no-prisoners style. (Former mayor Rich Hildreth says Sun's cost-cutting and "incompetence" has put the city at risk.) Since January, the political novice who promised not to "take any gruff from anybody" has fired two department heads, including the police chief, while two others quit their jobs serving the town's 6,800 residents.
But Sun eliminated his own salary as well. After beating two-term incumbent mayor Hildreth by 79 votes in November by going door-to-door to solicit write-in support, Sun announced that he'd turn back the $750 monthly mayoral paycheck and work for free.
As he slashed payroll and expenses, his fans applauded, while his critics - the city council among them - called him reckless. Council members ended up passing a no-confidence vote, sparking talks of a recall movement last month.
This was after one council opponent had accused Sun of taking office under false pretense, allegedly having exaggerated his war record. Sun subsequently produced the medals he had claimed to have earned serving in both Korea and Vietnam, and the council member - Gary Hulsey, a war vet who suffered from PTSD and went to prison for killing his wife - was forced to apologize.
Most recently, the back-and-forth between the mayor and other city officials turned so combative that City Clerk Jane Montgomery began locking her office door apparently to keep the mayor at bay. She has also taken out an anti-harassment order against one of the mayor's allies.
Montgomery told KOMO-TV she had to call the police chief to come check on her welfare after Mayor Sun began pounding on her door. "I don't feel safe," she said.
Sun says he's currently not commenting to the media about the Pacific battle. But he issued what is so far a one-time "newsletter" defending his decisions. As mayoral newsletters go, it's memorable.
"Give me some slack!" he tells his critics in explaining his hiring/firing philosophy. They may not like his "crazy, stupid ways of being a mayor," but "Please don?t tell me what to do. Let me tell 'YOU' what I know:
"My employment folder is full of NO GOOD, REJECTED SEASONED BUREAUCRATS - MUNICIPAL LOAFERS, who were either fired or laid off by their former City employers. REJECTS who seem to migrate from one City to another.
"My definition of a Bureaucrat is a sweet talking loafer who has the talent of winning friends to hold his job and work his way up to a higher salary."
After getting rid of the city's top management, he says, he appointed himself the "Public Works/Community Development Director, and Engineer."
I saved the Valentine [road-widening] Project; did the Public Works/Engineering for the Stewart Road, Butte Ave, 51st Ave S; brought in the $50,000 Ecology Grant; worked with our Public Works foreman, going down into manholes to inspect/study our sewer, water and storm drain system; traveled at my own expense for the city?s benefit (amounting into hundred of dollars); studied our water delivery system with our Water Master, worked with our Finance Director and other leading personnel to keep moving ahead. All for a $750/mo salary of which all will be donated back to the City.
"My reward: A unanimous vote of NO CONFIDENCE!"
That brought on "an agony, shame, and depression that penetrated both my wife
(deeply) and I. I?m worried about my wife?s mental health," he writes. "How long am I able to endure? Because I?m 82 and the mental (stress caused by all the political intrigues) condition of my wife, I have my reservations."
Nonetheless, he concludes after eight pages of venting, "Please send your constructive comments to my E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org."