New council member and much, much more

  • Written by David B. Clark
The Woodinville City Council met for their sole meeting this month on August 7. The evening consisted of a completely stacked agenda that was slotted to keep councilmembers and staff over five hours. This was due to an August recess without meetings throughout the rest of the month, selecting a new councilmember, and numerous other Business Items. Mayor Evans began to approve the agenda in order and content but did not get far.
Councilmember Boundy-Sanders said, “I don’t know if I’m completely comfortable with the review of 2018-2019 Council Assignments.” These assignments are filled by councilmembers who then report to different boards across the region to serve as a voice for Woodinvillle. Council was looking to review and amend its 2018-2019 Councilmember Assignments to fill any vacancies due to previous Mayor Bernie Talmas’ resignation. The newly elected councilmember in Position 7 was to have some of these assignments and for others to be distributed throughout the current council. These assignments have a backup appointee through an already designated Alternate who would rise to the primary position given a sudden change, like Talmas’ exit from council. Typically, these assignments last one year.
Councilmember Boundy-Sanders voiced that she wanted to “call it down to the Alternatives and call it good.” Boundy-Sanders referenced that Evans had a very light list of assignments because he had addressed that was his wish because he had “multiple other jobs.”
Evans replied that the Council Assignments and the process “didn’t reflect the current make-up of council,” as Talmas’ was gone and a new member would be elected later that very evening. Boundy-Sanders had been removed, namely, from a position as Chair of the Eastside Transportation Partnership. Evans apologized and stated this was simply an error and would be corrected.
Boundy-Sanders said, “There was a feeling that went around that I had too much influence regionally. I have worked too hard to actually show up … this is a personal vendetta … I have been pulled from everything [Council Assignments] that actually meets.” She said again, “this has all the marks of a personal vendetta, not the good of Woodinville and not the level of professionalism that the Woodinville board should be exhibiting.”
Deputy Mayor Elaine Cook stepped in and said that all councilmembers had, “…ample time to speak up about what their interests were.”
The commotion necessitated a vote. Boundy-Sanders and Al Taylor voted to remove item from the agenda. Evans, Cook, Les Rubstello, and Paula Waters voted to move forward with the agenda as proposed. The meeting would come back to these issues but moved immediately to the interview for City Council Position 7.
After the interview process, which was in held in front of the public, the councilmembers conducted an Executive Session in private to discuss the applicants.
Councilmembers were approached by a very impressive group. So much so that when it came time to elect an interviewee for nomination, each councilmember nominated a different individual.
Taylor nominated Paul Cowles 
Cook nominated Rachel Best-Campbell
Waters nominated Paul Hagan
Rubstello nominated Jorge Meza
Boundy-Sanders nominated Nicolas Duchastel de Montrouge
Cook nominated Gary Harris
While these were only nominations and not votes cast by councilmembers, council did then conduct a vote with each nominator voting for their own nominee.
The process was then brought back and councilmembers voted again. Waters and Boundy-Sanders voted for Hagen. Rubstello, Evans, Cook, and Taylor voted for Harris.
Gary Harris is the new Position 7 Woodinville city councilmember.
Just after Harris completed his Oath of Office, Taylor commented on the pool of applicants, “Can we send a letter from the city recognizing everyone? Because that was a strong slate; that was really phenomenal.” Evans responded that he would take that to the City Manager, Brandon Buchanan.
Gary Harris was born in Everett and over the last 40 years has lived not more than five miles from Woodinville City Council. Harris brings 30 years of board and commission experience to Council. He commented during his interview that he was “very happy the Civic Center was voted on and approved.” Harris says that he wants Woodinville to be a friendly place to live and work. He has enjoyed the summer concert series and thinks they are a good example of how Woodinville is re-inventing itself. He describes himself as a fiscally conservative person who “doesn’t” throw money at something just to see if it sticks.” Harris says he is an active-listener who can hear from multiple people and come to a consensus. Harris believes in the theme of “Farm and Forest” and says he is for development but he certainly does not want all the trees cut down. He wants the downtown core solidified and thinks that Civic Campus is a great start. “Let’s give people things to do after 5:00pm when the wineries close,” said Harris.
The meeting then found its way back to reviewing and appointing of the 2018-2019 Council Assignments. Evans began, “Hopefully I can get this off on a better foot or the foot I had originally intended…” when Waters commented, “Mr. Mayor? I’d like to make a motion to put this off until the next meeting. We’d been at this for four-and-a-half hours and we don’t have your correct suggestions…” Waters cited that she would like to give some feedback. The next meeting is September 11. Evans said, “My reason for doing this is because we have August recess.” He explained that this was for a discussion. “Let’s get these off on the right foot.” He continued, “we have a lot to do in a short time.”
Because of the continued commotion, the council voted again to remove this from the agenda. Waters, Boundy-Sanders, and Taylor voted to remove it. Evans, Cook, Rubstello, and Harris voted to keep it on the agenda, with Harris’s voting coming last and solidifying the discussion.
Evans began, “I want to apologize to Councilmember Boundy-Sanders because there was a true mix up…” He continued, “On number 2. The Eastside Transportation Partnership the name Evans there should read Boundy-Sanders based on the information and my intention…”
Waters requested that she not be liaison to both the Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation. After some discussion, Waters stayed on the Planning Commission while Cook moved to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Cook moved to adopt the 2018-2019 Council Assignments.
Boundy-Sanders made a motion to set herself as a primary for Sound Cities Association - Public Issues Committee (PIC) and Evans as the alternate, swapping the proposed. Watters seconded this motion. The PIC reviews and evaluates policy positions and recommends to the Board what, if any, actions should be taken on policy positions
Boundy-Sanders stated, “I have been the alternate for about six years with the wish to inherit the main seat at some point.” She continued, “I’ve been basically waiting for that among other things … I’ve paid my dues. I’m familiar with Woodinville’s positions … I have a great record attending and would do so and would go prepared.”
Cook responded, “I believe it is a disservice to the council, even as a body, that one person would feel that their experience or their knowledge of issues qualifies them solely for a position like this. It is handicapping the rest of us from actually learning those issues. Being a part of a committee like this allows you to learn.” 
Boundy-Sanders responded that these meetings were open to the public and that everyone was welcome, so it was not a barrier. “Experience, knowledge, and actually showing up are what’s best for the city,” stated Boundy-Sanders.
Waters agreed that having a position on a board is not the only way to learn referencing her own attendance on a Sound Cities meeting.
Evans stated, “I feel like after its been said three times, the ‘actual showing up’ and ‘actual knowledge’ should be acknowledged. I know Woodinville’s issues very well. It’s why I sit up here and I frequently attend things.” Evans explained how invested he has been from door-belling to attending important meetings. Evans finished, “I hope the implication wasn’t that I don’t show up.”
Taylor commented, “I support the way it’s written right now because you [Evans] are the mayor and you represent the city. It really looks good regionally that we have the mayor’s representation.”
This then came to a roll-call vote to swap positions making Boundy-Sanders the primary and Evans the alternate. Watters and Boundy-Sanders voted yes. Evans, Cook, Rubstello, Taylor, and Harris voted no. The motion failed. Evans remained primary.
With this, Evans made a motion to replace the alternate Boundy-Sanders with Cook. He stated, “The conversation we just had really concerned me.”
Boundy-Sanders commented, “This underscores my earlier comment of a personal vendetta.” She continued, “I understand the wish to not want to be around someone who has challenged you on not being present but there are reasons for it but I have shown up when other people haven’t.”
Evans responded, “I would be happy to serve with Councilmember Boundy-Sanders … I believe that what was presented is wrong for representation … It is the wrong way to come on this when relationships need to be made … the sort of rhetoric that one councilmember knows the position better and more purely is offensive to me…”
Evans requested a roll-call vote. Waters and Boundy-Sanders voted no while Evans, Cook, Rubstello, Taylor, and Harris voted yes. Evans is the primary, Cook is now the alternate for the Sound Cities Association - Public Issues Committee. 

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