Posted on June 26, 2012 at 6:49 AM
Tuesday, Jun 26 at 8:14 AM
PACIFIC, Wash. -- There is a big problem in the small city of Pacific -- one that nearly cost the small King County city its insurance coverage. It's causing residents to lose faith in Mayor Cy Sun.
Pacific City Council members met Monday with the city's insurance company in an executive session. Some feared the city was at risk of losing insurance coverage for illegally approving building permits. Sun has said he has signed a building permit without realizing he wasn't qualified to do so.
Some council members say those actions opened the city to liability issues.
But, the city dodged a bullet. The city's insurance carrier did not pull the policy. Police, public works, and other city agencies are protected to perform daily duties. But, the insurance company warned if the political situation doesn't stabilize it still may suspend coverage.
The firestorm surrounds Pacific Mayor Cy Sun, 82, who was elected into office on a write-in campaign. Under his leadership, at least seven department heads have been fired or quit their posts. Some say there are too few people left to run City Hall. Business owners complain about delays in permitting, licensing and road projects.
Monday evening his residents, worried about losing basic city functions, called him out.
"You have created chaos in the city," said one woman. "If you care about our town at all, you will resign."
"I would like to ask you to resign and let someone get in there that can lead the city," said another Pacific resident.
"You get in you clean out what should be done. What I did was clean out all the high-salaried people who weren't doing very much," said Mayor Sun in an interview last week
Mayor Sun said he's trying to improve wrongs done by past administrations. He claims the city's money has gone toward salaries and not enough toward improving the infrastructure.
"We cannot afford a full-time Public Works Director. We cannot afford a full-time engineer. Nor can we afford a full-time inspector because building is declining," he said.
"I'm aware that we've slowed down a little. I'm trying very hard to get it up to speed," said Mayor Sun.
Sun told the council that he had no intention of turning over any administrating authority in any city department. Although, when pressed by council members, the city's attorney said Mayor Sun could be spending money the council hadn't authorized. In an extreme case, vendors doing work for Pacific, could wind up not getting paid.
The council, frustrated, reminded the mayor he is already facing potential lawsuits over his comments he made about city employees.