Washington State Agencies Call Everett Mayor’s Letter False Secondhand Information

November 7, 2022


Three Washington State Agencies want an apology from Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin.

Last Friday Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin posted a letter on social media which said in part: Yesterday I learned that the Washington State Department of Transportation—as part of Washington’s Right of Way Safety Initiative, and in partnership with a local nonprofit service provider—is placing a large number of the unsheltered population, many of which currently reside outside the city of Everett, in motels located throughout Everett. This is an unacceptable burden for our city to bear.

Today MyEverettNews.com received the formal response from the Washington State Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Washington Department of Commerce and the Chief of the Washington State Patrol. Here is an excerpt from that response and the full text is in the link below.

Dear Mayor Franklin and County Executive Somers:
This letter serves as an official response from the Washington State Departments of Transportation, Commerce and Washington State Patrol to a letter from the City of
Everett and Snohomish County dated Nov.3.

While the letter is addressed to WSDOT, all three of our agencies are compelled to respond as we partner closely with local jurisdictions and service providers in our work for the state Right of Way safety Initiative.

First, work is now underway on three sites in the City of Everett. To date, three people experiencing homelessness within the city on state right of way have received housing in Everett. It is important to note that the Everett Police and city homeless coordinator took part in those efforts and were wonderful to work with.

We look forward to more of that good work and our intent is to continue it. These are the facts.
We are deeply frustrated that the city and county did not reach out to have a conversation with our departments prior to publishing and publicly sharing false
secondhand information across social media platforms.

You attempted to shame our agencies and accused us of transporting people experiencing homelessness across county lines, an accusation that is patently false and offensive. What is factual is that our contracts with Helping Hands and Volunteers of America Western Washington only allow funds to be used to house people living unsheltered in Snohomish County. We request a public retraction of those statements and an apology. Such accusations undermine our collective ability to do the work the public demands and unhoused individuals need.

WSDOT-COM-WSP Response re 11072022

After receiving the official response from the three State agencies we asked the City of Everett for a response and received the following in an email from City of Everett Communications Manager Julio Cortes:

We are looking forward to connecting directly with the State agencies in the near future. At this time, we don’t have a date set but will work on a collaborative approach to the issues presented in both letters.

Mr. Cortes made no mention of a public retraction or apology as requested.


About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

View all posts by myeverettnews