MAY 19, 1997

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Local News

Councilmember still unhappy with resignation

City Council by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter
Members of the Woodinville City Council are still unsettled with the recent resignation of City Manager Joe Meneghini. At last Monday's regular meeting, Councilmember Marsha Engel moved to clarify wording in the minutes of the April 7 study session.
   The text in question reads, "Deputy Mayor Don Brocha moved to officially accept City Manager Joe Meneghini's resignation letter. Councilmember [Lucy] DeYoung seconded the motion. Vote: All voted in favor of the motion and the motion carried (7-0)."
   During that vote, Engel and Councilmembers Art Saulness and Barbara Solberg remained silent. Under Robert's Rules of Order, silence in a vote is an affirmative vote.
   Engel contended that her silence was a result of the stunning news of Meneghini's resignation, that broke that afternoon in the Woodinville Weekly. "Our reaction was stunned. We would like this to reflect our silent protest," Engel said.
   City Clerk Jim Katica said that the minutes from the meeting couldn't be changed, but that the minutes from the May 12 meeting could reflect her clarification. City Attorney Wayne Tanaka agreed with Katica.
   "I wish we had a way to express a minority opinion," said Councilmember Barbara Solberg, who wished to show her dissatisfaction with the way the process worked.
   "The best way to express a minority opinion is to vote no," said Deputy Mayor Don Brocha.
   "There is no easy way or parliamentary way to express your opinion while a vote is taking place," Solberg continued.
   Mayor Bob Miller moved to approve the minutes from the April 7 meeting, but the motion failed, 3-3. Miller, Brocha, and Councilmember Scott Hageman voted to approve, while Engel, Saulness, and Solberg voted no. Councilmember Lucy DeYoung had left the meeting a short while before.
   During councilmember reports, Engel took a different tack on the resignation vote. She asked that city staff prepare a document that would say there would be no votes during a study session, and if there were, they should be put on the agenda. She said with the "magnitude of the decision" it was "unfair" and "out of line for three of us to be out of the loop. "[It was] unusual for three of you to have information, and the rest of us getting caught flat-footed," Engel said.
   Miller, Brocha, and Hageman denied having prior information on Meneghini's resignation beforehand.