LETTER: Former mayor relieved by appeal result

Last week I was pleased to receive confirmation from our counsel, Alex Casey, that the February 22 unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the Superior Court’s dismissal of the claims filed by Russell Burke and his spouse against the City of Montesano, Kristy, Powell, the former city administrator, Rocky Howard, the former director of public works, and myself, then serving as mayor, was final.

I can assure all of you that when I was elected mayor of the City of Montesano, I certainly had not anticipated having to work through the departmental issues which came to our attention nor to take the various administrative steps leading to discipline of some employees and, as to Mr. Burke, his dismissal. However difficult it was to carry out the actions, it was our duty to the citizens of Montesano to make certain that the city’s resources were properly utilized.

When I received the complaint filed by Mr. Burke’s counsel back in 2013, I was both shocked and saddened by the allegations. The fact that after three and one-half years two courts have found that there was no legal or factual basis to support those claims which had received much news coverage and talk around town, reaffirms to me one basic point. That point is that while doing the right thing is often not easy, things come out right in the end.

I can assure you that it has been a difficult period for Kristy, Rocky, myself and unfortunately, our respective spouses and families. However, that “book” is now closed and may all move on with their lives.

For those who would like to read the Court of Appeal’s decision, I have left a copy at the clerk’s office at City Hall.

Ken Estes

Former Montesano mayor