I may no longer work in T-Town, but that doesn't mean I don't still enjoy following what goes on in the often bizarre world of Pierce County politics. And, to be honest, it doesn't get any more bizarre (and downright crazy) than Dale Washam.
Washam is, far and away, the most despised figure to roam the halls of the Pierce County building in a long time.
This ought to be good.
To the chagrin of many, Washam won election to the post back in 2008, aided in no small part by the newly instituted ranked choice voting procedure employed in Pierce County. He'd made a name for himself in years prior by being at odds with former Pierce County Assessor Treasure Ken Madsen over Madsen's use of computer models to revalue properties in Pierce County instead of the physical inspections required by state law. Washam says it represents a criminal falsification of public record, but no one but him really seems to give a shit. He launched several recall efforts against Madsen over the years as part of this never-ending personal quest - all of them unsuccessful.
Ironically, an organized recall effort against Washam just missed making Pierce County ballots last year.
Not only do most people who go to work at the Pierce County building (aside from his closest aides) seem to hold a special place of contempt in their hearts for Washam, the sitting Assessor Treasurer seems to return the favor. I've heard on several occasions from a number of people who work inside the Pierce County building that Washam has been known to hold meetings in the parking lot for fear his office has been bugged by enemies (though I've never actually looked into these believably outrageous claims), and the list of archived evidence of Washam retaliating against employees who've dared to cross him is long.
Dude is a character, to say the least.
Sensing an opening, the list of candidates mounting campaigns to take the Assessor Treasure job is lengthy, including current Pierce County Council member Tim Farrell, former Tacoma City Council members Spiro Manthou and Mike Longergan, and Billie O'Brien, the administrative manager of the assessor-treasurer's office.
An Aug. 7 primary will determine which two candidates will do final battle in November.