Mayor Gough faces City Council for the first time since censure vote

Tonight Mayor Don Gough is expected to face the Lynnwood City Council for the first time since they officially called on him to resign.

Last Monday the Council voted 6-1 to censure Mayor Gough and urged him to step down after an investigation of his conduct with city employees. Council President Ted Hikel abstained from the vote.

On Thursday the city released the report of the investigation. After interviewing dozens of current and former city employees, the investigator said there was a “striking consistency in how the majority of both male and female witnesses (though not all) described their experiences.”

They said that Mayor Gough’s communication style is sometimes rude and dismissive; he can be demeaning and condescending; he sometimes intentionally speaks slowly or repeats information, giving the listener the impression that the Mayor thinks the listener is stupid; he lectures staff and others as if they were children; and that he resorts to name calling such as using the words stupid and idiot. Witnesses also said the Mayor does not like to have his authority called into question, uses his authority to intimidate and and tends to hold a grudge.

Some witnesses claimed that Mayor Gough has a gender bias and has unflattering nicknames for female staff members. At least six witnesses reported they have heard Mayor Gough use the phrase “doing the mommy thing” in reference to Stephanie Simpson, Mayor Gough’s former assistant who gave birth to two children while she was employed by the city. They say he also used the term “baby brains” after she returned from her second maternity leave.

“Given the number of people who believe the Mayor has a gender bias, combined with his comments, his admitted informality in addressing women, and his historical and ongoing difficulties with senior female staff who he finds to be ‘aggressive,’ the investigator cannot rule out the possibility of a gender bias. Additionally, a number of apparently strong, confident, professional women have been reduced to tears in their dealings with Mayor Gough. Whereas no men reported similar emotional or comparable negative reactions. Some
women reported that they have suffered from health problems as a result of their working relationships with Mayor Gough. No men reported the same,” the report said.

In addition to asking Mayor Gough to resign, the City Council is requiring that all personnel decisions be approved by them, including hiring, firing and discipline.

Because he’s an elected official the only way to remove him from office would be by a recall petition.

  1. If you are interested in joining a campaign intended to “encourage” Gough to resign, send Ron Siddell an email note using: ron@ron-siddell.com We plan to picket at city hall and Gough's house, call the mayor, send him emails, ask him to resign at the public comment time at council business meetings and anything else we can come up with.

  2. understand picketing city hall, place of official business, but his house? this looks like strong arm thuggery…just the impression it gives.

  3. No matter how much one dislikes a politician (I'd like to see Gough resign too), it is not appropriate to picket someone's house or involve their family – current media standards notwithstanding. I'd have offered you my support as a resident of Lynnwood otherwise.

  4. “Doing the Mommy thing” and “baby brains”… Come on gang, this is just a way of saying something that may be absolutely true. I mean, in this day of political correctness, sure people could twist it up… But hey, if a new Mom has to go home to take care of her child, just what would you call it, if not “doing the Mommy thing”… Or if a new Mom is obsessed with talking about her child, well isn't that kind of having “baby brains”?
    Also, this is where I have a problem. Not one male complained, yet all the women did… And somehow, I am supposed to give women in the workplace equality. Heck, if a guy had a boss that was an a-hole, well thats just what it would be, but if God forbid, a woman has a hard time at work… Then by crickey, better get out the ruler cause somebody needs theur wee wee slapped.
    Maybe this guy is a jerk, but it was the people of Lynnwood that voted him in.
    I think the council is more worried about a lawsuit from some overly sensitive woman, that is demanding “equality” in the form of “special treatment”.

  5. Picket the man's house? Jesus, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. You people piss and moan about his “bullying” like it's the worst thing to happen since 9/11, and you turn right around and do something like this?

    Grow a pair, put on a helmet and grow the hell up already. Oversensitive whining crybabies.

  6. Picketing or calling someone's home regarding a workplace issue is inappropriate. I hope you do not stoop to this level.

  7. Picketing or calling someone's home regarding a workplace issue is inappropriate. I hope you do not stoop to this level.

  8. Okay, I get it…picketing his home would be inappropriate. However, his home is across the street from City Hall.

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