Vying for Kirkland City Council position No. 6, Martin Morgan said he’s running again because there’s a lack of accountability in city government.
Morgan ran for council in 2009, but earned only 23 percent of the vote in the general election against current Mayor Joan McBride. He is in the race this time against incumbent Dave Asher and fellow challenger Jim Hart. His pledge if he wins:
“I’d hold the council accountable and I’d only work for the citizens,” Morgan said, during an interview last week at The Game Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Juanita.
But for a candidate who touts accountability, Morgan still owes the city payment for a $20,000 fine imposed five years ago, which he says he doesn’t plan on paying anytime soon. According to Oskar Rey, assistant city attorney, Morgan has until 2016 to pay the fine, at which time the amount would double if he is still in violation of the zoning code.
“How many more city council elections are there between now and then?” Morgan said, noting his plans to continue running for council at least until 2016 if he isn’t elected this time.
During the interview, Morgan became incensed at the Kirkland Reporter and accused the newspaper of publishing a “hit piece” against him in a front-page story in August 2009: “Council candidate Martin Morgan has criminal record, owes city $20,000.”
The story outlined a longtime civil feud between Morgan and his neighbors over his and his wife’s adjacent three Kirkland properties. Police records showed at least 36 calls made to the Kirkland Police Department over a three-year period by Morgan or his neighbors. One call resulted in Morgan’s arrest in 2008 following an altercation with his neighbors. Morgan was charged in King County Superior Court and later pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault and resisting arrest, while two other assault charges were dismissed, according to court records.
He served a one-year probationary sentence, which included 120 hours of anger management and 25 hours of community service, according to court documents.
Morgan also had an ongoing dispute with the city, resulting in a $20,000 fine in 2006 for code violations including improper tree removal and junk accumulation on his properties.
But Morgan believes he didn’t do anything wrong and said the city is trying to “drive me out” of Kirkland.
“He’s a bulldog – he’s not going anywhere,” said Bill Henkens, who owns The Game bar and managed Morgan’s last campaign.
Morgan, a 34-year Kirkland resident, said he hopes voters will elect him so he can ensure that what happened to him doesn’t happen to others. In fact, he said his experience with the city would be his biggest strength on the council.
“The council can’t bribe me or get me wrapped up in their crap, and I’d only work for the citizens,” said Morgan.
Other issues facing the city include the recent annexation and the budget, said Morgan, adding that he is committed to fiscal responsibility. If elected, he would also focus on funding public services, preserving neighborhood character and promoting a healthy business environment, he said.
Morgan, who is self employed, also served in the Navy, served as a Pony Baseball Commissioner and worked on the Neighborhood Comprehensive Plan and the 85th Street Corridor.
“From the first time I set foot in Kirkland 34 years ago, I knew it would be a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Sharon and I have been married for 23 years, raising our two children here, and enjoying Kirkland’s many amenities,” said Morgan in his candidate statement in the King County voter’s pamphlet. “Although a wonderful place to live, the lack of accountability in city government keeps our city from prospering and being all it can be. We need to elect a council that seeks accountability and stops civil retribution.”
Contact council candidate Martin Morgan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-822-4965.