Russell apologizes to Washougal mayor

Less than a week after Washougal Councilman Jon Russell criticized Mayor Sean Guard on his Facebook page and personal blog, the councilman has apologized.

Russell sent this “open letter” to Guard and the media on Saturday evening:

Dear Mayor Guard,

I believe it is absolutely crucial for us to have a “united front” for our citizens and in the light of many economic and public safety partnerships we are developing with the CW Port and City of Camas. I am seeking a better partnership between the Council and Mayor. Because I made our recent disagreement public, I am also making this an open letter for an added layer of accountability to the public. While I believe the recent E St. meeting was essential outreach, I still believe there was no need to rush the process in a week’s time. Had we been able to work together on this issue, I am 100% certain we could have had a meeting with even more of our E Street businesses involved, as well as the public and the full council.

I do apologize for assigning a sinister motive to your decision to move quickly on the E Street meeting. Had I offered a more thoughtful rebuke, maybe the outcome of our conversation would have been different. Though I have served our city for almost five years, I still make mistakes and tend to speak too quickly and thoughtlessly. I ask for your forgiveness.

I hope you will join me today in ushering in a new era of civility and compromise in Washougal, where both Council and the Mayor can equally exchange ideas and build consensus. We have many talented individuals on the council with different expertise and areas of interest. I highly recommend that we maximize those strengths and move our city forward on many different fronts. I want you to be a successful Mayor for the sake of Washougal, please let the full Council help.

In conclusion, I would ask that we make a renewed effort to communicate better with each other and work through some of our differences instead of writing one another off. We have been through a lot over the last year and half; I want to work with you to move our city forward.

Jon Russell
Washougal City Councilman

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