Last week, SHIFT reported that Snohomish County Executive John Lovick vetoed the 2015 budget passed by the County Council in a 3-2 vote. Lovick disagreed with the council’s budget due to its refusal to fund his staffs’ pay raises and its inclusion of an investigation into death threats made by Deputy Executive Mark Ericks to council members.
Well, Lovick isn’t alone in his dislike of the council’s budget. Councilmember Brian Sullivan, who voted against the budget, decided to take his disgust over the budget public in what is turning out to be an ugly case of Democrat infighting. According to the Everett Herald, Sullivan “fired off a strongly worded letter Friday accusing Council chairman Dave Somers of “character assassination” and arrogance.”
Sullivan, a Democrat, blamed Somers, a Democrat, for “contributing to a rancorous atmosphere among the county’s elected leaders and what’s become a dysfunctional budget process.” Sullivan wrote that Somers’ conduct “can only be explained as purely for political gain.” He continued,
“The budget process has always presented difficult choices that requires compromises and civility between the Council and Executive’s office… We have seen the exact opposite from you, Chair Somers.”
Sullivan’s accusations reveal the tense relationship between members of the council who consistently side with Lovick—Sullivan and Stephanie Wright—and those who oppose the executive’s agenda—Somers, Terry Ryan and Ken Klein (the only Republican on the Council). The Democrat infighting arises amid speculation that Somers or other council members will challenge Lovick for County Executive next year—according to the Everett Herald.
Who are the other council members? Notably, former Councilmember Dave Gossett—who was term limited out of his position—has $67 thousand is surplus funds. Gossett has reason to be upset with Lovick. Though Gossett endorsed his run for executive, Lovick bypassed the former council member for the job of budget director.
In any case, Sullivan’s letter marks the beginning of attempts to discredit Democrats who do not align with Lovick as “not real Democrats.”
You can check out the letter via the Everett Herald here.