Tenino mayor says he’ll resign

He’s been in the news through much of his 16 months in office and says he wants to end bickering with council

lpemberton@theolympian.comMay 2, 2013 

teninomayor

Tenino Mayor Eric Strawn stands outside Tenino City Hall on Jan. 13. (Chris Geier/The Chronicle)

CHRIS GEIER — The Chronicle

After serving for 16 contentious months, Tenino mayor Eric Strawn said he will formally announce Friday that he’s resigning from the city’s top post.

“My plans are I will resign as mayor (effective) on May 31 at midnight,” he said in a telephone interview with The Olympian.

“The decision didn’t come lightly to me.”

Strawn, 37, who was born and raised in the small Thurston County town, said there’s been mixed reaction to his decision to leave office.

“Some people are disappointed, and some people are excited,” he said. “Some people are of the belief that a single person can destroy a city. It takes a collective to build and tear down. I’m going to put my citizens before myself.”

Strawn said he didn’t want to spend the rest of his term arguing with a contentious City Council, so he’s removing himself from the equation.

“At one point, one of us elected officials, or certainly some of us, should look at ourselves and say, ‘You know what? This isn’t healthy,’” he added.

During his time in office, Strawn hasn’t been able to keep his name out of the news.

Most recently, he took heat for poking fun at city politics as part of his amateur comedy routine. Last fall, he was investigated for what witnesses described as an alleged lewd act in a police vehicle, although the mayor said he and the woman involved only kissed.

In addition, he sold T-shirts with “Mayorjuana” on them (he’s a medical marijuana user) to raise money for the city’s pool.

Strawn said he plans to get back to his normal life of working — he fabricates hot rods and does various jobs — and raising his children. He said Tenino mayor pro-tem Bret Brodersen will likely replace him.

All in all, Strawn said he’s glad to have been part of Tenino’s 106-year history as a city.

“Amidst all the controversy, it’s still been an honor to serve the citizens as mayor,” he said.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton

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