A Woodinville resident delivered a letter to Woodinville City Hall Thursday questioning whether Woodinville City Councilmember Scott Hageman is qualified to remain in office, according to Dale Knapinski, who provided Patch with a copy of the letter he delivered.
Last week at a regular council meeting, Hageman was questioned by Woodinville Mayor Bernie Talmas about Hageman's primary place of residency after learning Hageman had purchased a home in Kirkland. Councilmembers must live in the city they serve.
Knapinski said he is requesting the city to take reasonable measures to protect the validity of council action since there is a serious question as to the qualification of a councilmember.
"It’s a request to verify that tax funds are being spent for legitimate purposes since Scott Hageman may not be qualified to receive compensation," he wrote in an email to Patch.
Woodinville City Attorney Greg Rubestello said last week it's not a matter the council can decide, but that a residency challenge can be made by city resident or county prosecuting attorney. Click here to read the story posted after last week's meeting.
The letter follows:
Dear Woodinville City Attorney, Woodinville councilmembers, and Woodinville taxpayers:
During the 02/12/2013 Woodinville council meeting, councilmember Scott Hageman stated that he moved from his principle residence off Woodinville/Duvall Road and that he had leased another principle place of residence not far from where he used to live. By his own words, Scott Hageman no longer lives at the address where his current voter registration states he does. Scott Hageman is therefore not in compliance with State law regarding residency requirements, and is no longer qualified to receive compensation for councilmember duties. Woodinville City Attorney, Greg Rubstello, stressed the importance of addressing councilmember qualifications in a timely manner, and the Woodinville council should take his advice. http://woodinville.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=746
I respectfully request that Woodinville officials suspend Scott Hageman’s councilmember compensation until he is in compliance with residency requirements, is deemed qualified to retain a position on the Woodinville council, and is entitled to compensation. I further request that the Woodinville council, by resolution, demand that the City Attorney investigate Scott Hageman’s residency from August 1st, 2012, to date, and advise the council as to the options available for assuring that Scott Hageman is in compliance with residency requirements. (See RCW 35.23.111 City Attorney Duties) http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=35.23.111
Although it may not be up to the Woodinville council to rule on residency issues per se, it is the job of the council to be a good steward of tax funds and to determine if there is a risk of wasting city resources reviewing the status of past votes by a councilmember who might later be deemed unqualified to hold office.
Attached is a record of Scott Hageman’s Kirkland mailing address, which is a residence in Kirkland that is owned by Scott (Stanley S.) and his wife. Also attached is Scott’s current voter registration, which lists his residence as the home “Off Woodinville/Duvall Road” where Scott stated he no longer resides. As of today, Scott Hageman’s voter registration shows him "residing" at his house on Woodinville/Duvall Road but his mailing address is a Kirkland house. Scott updated his mailing address but the fact that he didn't update his residence address suggests INTENT to misinform the Washington Secretary of State and King County Elections about his actual abode.
RCW 42.12.010(4) -- "Elective office shall become vacant" . . . when . . . "his or her ceasing to be a legally registered voter of the . . . city"
RCW 29A.04.151 -- "'Residence' for the purpose of registering and voting means a person's permanent address where he or she physically resides and maintains his or her abode."
RCW 29.08.810(1)(c) -- "Registration of a person as a voter is presumptive evidence of his or her right to vote. A challenge to the person's right to vote must be based on personal knowledge of one of the following . . .
(c) The challenged voter does not live at the residential address provided . . . "