TENINO, Wash. -- Tenino Mayor Eric Strawn has no plans on quitting his new hobby: standup comedy.
“I believe I do have the right to express myself on my own time,” said Strawn.
In February Strawn started telling jokes at an “open mic” night at a Tacoma nightclub. He’s been doing standup every couple of weeks ever since.
“It was an outlet,” said Strawn. “If I didn’t actually start laughing, I was going to be completely stressed out.”
In addition to his stage act, Strawn occasionally tells jokes and stories on a Seattle radio station. Strawn said his act covers “mishaps” from his 37-year-old life. One happened last September.
Strawn was accused of receiving oral sex from a friend in a Tenino police car in a Lacey parking lot last September.
The city attorney determined no crime was committed.
One of his jokes deals with how he told his wife about the incident.
“It got some laughs,” said Strawn.
But he has his critics. Council members have asked him to stop taking stage.
“Until I’m ready to not do standup,” Strawn said. “I will be the person to make that decision.”
Strawn will hear from a group of developers at the next council meeting.
Philip Northcraft and his partners with Wilridge Estates said they have been told by realtors that Strawn is hurting property values.
“People deal with impressions. They get snap shots of what’s happening,” said Philip Northcraft, who wants to build 39 homes on rural property outside of the Tenino’s limits.
“He [Strawn] should consider the health of the economy of Tenino,” said Northcraft.