KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Councilmember storms out of meeting after realizing no one likes her

Jan 9, 2023, 9:05 AM | Updated: 10:01 am
Everett councilmember Liz Vogeli...
Everett City Councilmember Liz Vogeli stormed out of a recent city council meeting shortly after nobody seconded her nomination to become council vice president. (Screenshot of the Everett City Council meeting)
(Screenshot of the Everett City Council meeting)

An Everett City Council meeting got uncomfortable after a councilmember learned in real time that no one likes her, prompting a walk-out.

The council accepted nominations for who would serve as president and vice president at its meeting on Jan. 4. Councilmembers Paula Rhyne and Brenda Stonecipher were both nominated. The discussion and debate were civil, with Stonecipher earning the win. Then, it became time to nominate a vice president.

Far-left council member Liz Vogeli was confused at first, not remembering that the position is nominated. Then, she offered her own name.

“Okay, I nominate myself,” Vogeli announced.

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No one seconded her nomination

But the nomination needed a second. The council and Mayor Cassie Franklin remained awkwardly silent when asked if anyone would second the nomination. Smiling awkwardly, Vogeli looked understandably embarrassed.

“Do we need a second? Oh my G-d. Just get it over with. I take it back!” Vogeli snapped.

Immediately afterward, Councilmembers Judy Tuohy and Rhyne were nominated and seconded. In fact, Rhyne seconded her own nomination.

Vogeli looked visibly annoyed as the council discussed the nominations. Then, when it was her turn to speak, Vogeli defiantly read notes from the previous council leaders, noting that Stonecipher would be president for a third time.

“So 2023 would be the third year, so that would be pretty awesome. Congratulations,” Vogeli said sarcastically.

But Stonecipher corrected the record, telling her that her list was wrong.

“Interesting…I apologize. Isn’t that interesting having Tuohy…again. We’re going to get a lot of stuff done. Congratulations, everybody. I know we haven’t voted yet,” Vogeli replied sarcastically.

The vote came next, with Vogeli loudly voting for Rhyne. But it was Tuohy that came out on top. When the vote was done, Vogeli started packing up to leave as Tom Hingson, Everett Transit Director, offered a presentation to the council.

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Vogeli offers an explanation

In an email to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Vogeli maintained that, “Councilmembers Stonecipher and Tuohy have held President and VP roles for the past three years.” And she has a legitimate reason to oppose these appointments.

“It is time for a different Councilmember to have a go. I was disappointed in their decisions to hold onto these roles another year,” she emailed.

If her data is right (screenshots of council agendas provided to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH indicate she was), her point is valid. But rather than make a compelling argument — or any argument — she behaved like a belligerent child.

She also defended her decision to leave at the start of the presentation, with nearly an hour left in the meeting.

“Since there were no more votes for the evening and I had heard the transit presentation at a TAC meeting, I felt it was logistically acceptable to depart at the time I did,” Vogeli explained.

But she might have heard questions or concerns from her colleagues that could have had a bearing on the information she previously viewed. She was elected to attend council meetings, whether she had seen the material or not. And the timing of her decision makes it seem more likely that she was angered and embarrassed by what happened.

I would have been embarrassed too. It was humiliating to nominate herself and then be so awkwardly rejected by every colleague. But throwing a tantrum and speaking so sarcastically is unbecoming of a councilmember. And I doubt it was the first time she’s acted out like this. Perhaps it’s why no one wanted her to serve as vice president.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Councilmember storms out of meeting after realizing no one likes her