[4/20/17] Winthrop Council Re-Settles After Feathers Are Ruffled

Posted in Local Government & Meetings


Winthrop Town Council meetings have been contentious since Mayor Ann Acheson fired Marshal Hal Henning in mid-February.

Marshal Henning was popular with residents, business owners and council members, including Michael Strulic who made this statement at Wednesday night’s town council meeting…

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Two weeks ago tempers flared at the Winthrop Town Council Meeting when a town employee confronted the council.

Council Member Strulic says that behavior is unacceptable…

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Marshal Henning’s firing left Winthrop without law enforcement coverage. They’ve been relying on Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office along with help from the Twisp Police Department.

Longtime Winthrop Town Council member, Rick Northcott, says it’s time to focus on a solution…

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For years, Winthrop and Twisp have talked about consolidating law enforcement coverage, but have yet to reach an agreement.

Twisp has offered to provide temporary law enforcement coverage until Winthrop hires another Marshal. However, it doesn’t appear as if Winthrop is committed to hiring a new Marshal– they may try to work out a consolidation agreement with Twisp.

Several members of the public spoke at Wednesday’s Winthrop Town Council meeting, expressing their displeasure with town governance…

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Another citizen says poor governance began long before the firing of Marshal Henning..

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The Winthrop town council meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month- their next meeting is on Wednesday, May 3rd. That includes a workshop to discuss possible town government restructuring.

The two most common forms of local government are the Strong Mayor and the Weak Mayor forms. Winthrop is a Strong Mayor form of government. With an executive branch, the elected Mayor, and the council acting as the legislative branch.

In a weak mayor form, the mayor has no formal authority outside of the council. The Mayor cannot appoint or remove officials and lacks veto power over council votes.

In a strange twist of fate, this fall, Mayor Acheson, and all five Winthrop Town council positions will be up for election, or re-election. Could be a very interesting cycle.