Tenino Mayor Eric Strawn told KING 5 News he plans to resign this week, claiming his controversy and a contentious city council are keeping things from getting done.
“Is me continuing to fight with five people that don’t like me healthy for our city? I’m making the conscious decision, I’m putting the citizens first and removing myself from the equation,” said Strawn.
“I think that it's good he steps down and lets somebody fill the shoes that would be more appropriate for Tenino,” said Heather Weber, who lives near Tenino.
Strawn claims city leaders and others have never forgiven his slip ups.
In September, witnesses say he was getting oral sex in a city police car with a woman. Police couldn’t prove it and he wasn’t charged.
In October, Strawn, a medical marijuana user, raised money for a city pool with a t-shirt that said “Mayorjuana” on it.
In March, he tried standup comedy at an open mic night in Tacoma. His act covered “mishaps” from his life including the incident in the police car.
“He had a lot of potential,” said Christina Blacksmith, a member of the Tenino Ethics Taskforce.
Blacksmith was part of a panel that investigated Strawn’s police car incident. She claims the mayor made strides in balancing Tenino’s budget, but the city couldn’t overcome his negative antics.
“We’ve been put in the news a lot more than I like to see,” said Tenino resident Jason Green.
“Small town with a bad rep, bad reputation because of the leadership,” said Weber.
“It’s made the citizens look bad, it’s made them angry, it’s made them fight each other,” said Blacksmith.
“I’ve made some mistakes in office; I’ve been accountable for my mistakes," Strawn said. "I would love to say it’s completely my fault but I can only share half the blame,” said Strawn.
Even though city leaders have made mistakes too, Strawn claims they couldn’t look past his and resisted his leadership starting with his first day in office.
“Day one I was met with a jail gate barring me from city hall, yet I hadn’t had a day in office and I was already barred from city hall,” he said.
Strawn says his resignation is a way for Tenino to move forward.
“It’s a regrettable decision, but it’s one that has to be made,” said Strawn.
City leaders won’t comment on Strawn’s resignation until they see it in writing, which will be sometime this week. His last day as mayor will be May 31st.