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Cooperation, new blood mark first meeting of City Council

Bob Miller new Mayor of Woodinville, Deputy Mayor is Don Brocha

new council

New Councilmembers (L-R) Scott Hageman and Barbara Solberg, and the re-elected Marsha Engel, take the oath of office at the Woodinville City Council meeting Jan. 2.
Photo by Jeff Switzer/Woodinville Weekly.

city council by Jeff Switzer
At the city's first Council meeting, Barbara Solberg, Scott Hageman, and Marsha Engel were sworn in, former councilmembers were recognized, former deputy mayor Bob Miller was unanimously elected the new Mayor, and Don Brocha was elected Deputy Mayor.
   Area residents packed the Council Chambers at the first Woodinville City Council meeting of the year to witness the ceremony and see who would be the new Mayor.
   Newly elected Councilmembers Solberg and Hageman and returning Councilmember Engel were sworn in by Washington State Court of Appeals Judge Anne Ellington.
   Outgoing Councilmembers Bob Dixon, Mark Jessup and former Councilmember Don Schneider were presented with proclamations recognizing their hard work and service to the city during their terms in office.
   Former Mayor Lucy DeYoung's term expired on Dec. 31, 1995, and a new Mayor is elected each even-numbered year. DeYoung served as interim Mayor upon incorporation and was elected by the council in 1993. She did not seek re-election, as she plans to run for Washington State Treasurer.
   City Clerk/Treasurer Jim Katica conducted the nominations and election of the new mayor. Councilmember Brocha nominated Miller. Hearing no other nominations, DeYoung moved that the nominations be closed and Miller be elected unanimously. The motion passed 7-0.
   "It will be an interesting two years," Miller said. "I think the council will work well together, and we have good people here. The spirit tonight was very good and I'm looking forward to working with everyone," he said. "There was more give and take tonight, and that's what we need."
   Under the direction of the new Mayor Miller, the council then took nominations for deputy mayor. Solberg nominated Engel and Hageman nominated Brocha for the No. 2 position.
   Brocha was elected Deputy Mayor by DeYoung, Hageman, Brocha, and Miller. Voting for Engel were Art Saulness, Engel, and Solberg.
   Brocha said he plans to work on more good public relations for the city and feels Miller will do a good job.
   "I look forward to working as a team with the Mayor," Brocha said. "Tonight's levity was a good sign for the new council."

New air of cooperation
   Following the conclusion of formalities, the council proceeded with its regular business. With councilmembers Jessup and Dixon no longer serving on the council, new appointments needed to be made to the committees on which they had served.
   DeYoung resigned from her position on the finance committee and asked to be appointed to the Eastside Transportation Program committee to fill the vacancy created by Dixon.
   The two positions on the finance committee were filled by Brocha and Solberg, with Saulness serving as chair.
   Throughout the less formal study session--which the council schedules for the first and third Mondays of each month--councilmembers participated in what they described as more meaningful discussions in a spirit of openness and honesty.

Council procedures revisited
   In January of even-numbered years, the council revisits its rules and procedures for its meetings, entertaining amendments or changes councilmembers want to make. Motions for amending the procedures will be addressed at the Jan. 8 regular meeting.
   At their Jan. 2 meeting, DeYoung and Solberg discussed when the swearing-in ceremony should occur: in January or December.
   Current council procedures dictate that the swearing-in takes place at the last regular session before the councilmembers take office, though the ceremony this year was held Jan. 2.
   DeYoung also proposed that members abstaining from a vote give a reason for doing so, and allow for debate on whether a member should be excused from a meeting based on the reason given.
   Mayor Miller added that when city staff or consultants are required to attend a meeting, their items should be at the beginning of the agendas to allow for shorter work days and to save the city money on consultant fees.
   In an effort to return to a spirit of general discussion, Engel asked that time be set aside at every study session for issues that may have fallen through the cracks. DeYoung agreed, adding that the open discussion aspect had been missing from the study sessions.