Sunnyside City Manager Fired, Mayor Resigns - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Sunnyside City Manager Fired, Mayor Resigns

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SUNNYSIDE, Wash.--The controversy brewing between the interim police chief and City Manager Frank Sweet ultimately led to Sweet's dismissal and the resignation of the city's mayor.

"I'm thinking what's next, this is probably not what we need right now," said Sandra Vargas of Sunnyside.

"We need somebody here in this town that's got it together," said Carolyn Terrel, a Sunnyside resident.

To people living here it may look like the City of Sunnyside is falling apart. Many are concerned about what's going on in the Lower Valley's largest town.

"I would say that they should be rest assured," said the newly appointed Interim City Manager Aaron Markham. "I'm going to do everything in my power. I've been with the city for over 21 years. I intend to be here until I retire."

The Sunnyside fire chief stepped in as interim city manager after Frank Sweet was ousted in a 4 to 2 vote during Monday night's council meeting.

Markham said the biggest surprise of the night wasn't Sweet's dismissal. Instead, it was Mike Farmer's resignation as mayor.

"In my opinion this is a lose lose situation. I'm going to resign my position as mayor. I'm going to resign my position as councilman," he said.

That was a statement made by Farmer in Monday's council meeting. Farmer said he didn't want to talk on camera but said quitting is a personal decision.

He said he's tired of the tension in the council and wants to spend more time with family. Councilman Jim Restucci has stepped in as mayor as the people of Sunnyside search for some stability after several days of turmoil.

"I think they just really, really need to evaluate the next person that comes in," Vargas said.

Chief Markham said as the newly appointed city manager, he'll maintain day to day operations.

He said there needs to be a discussion with the deputy police chief about his plans for the future.    

We tried to contact Sweet and Interim Police Chief Phil Schenck, but they didn't return our calls.