During its meeting on Monday night, the Mountlake Terrace City Council confirmed its selection of the City Hall Advisory Committee discussed during Thursday’s meeting.
That committee consists of the following nine Mountlake Terrace residents: Stephen Barnes, Dustin DeKoekkoek, Chris Finch, Maggie Hyneman, Stan Lake, Rory Paine-Donovan, Linda Rogers, Vic Sood and Eiya Wolfe.
The council came to this selection after about an hour of deliberating how to best get an accurate representation of the city’s residents, making sure to include long-time residents, newer residents, women and people who had voted “no” on previous City Hall measures.
The committee was confirmed in a 5-1 vote Monday night, with Mayor Jerry Smith absent and Councilmember Seaun Richards casting the dissenting vote. Richards had left Thursday’s meeting early and said Monday that he was under the impression that the council would select the nine candidates who received the highest scores during the interview process.
Councilmember Doug McCardle explained Monday that during the final deliberations, the nine candidates with the highest scores were determined to not accurately represent the community, lacking dissenting votes and women, among other descriptors. With 15 highly qualified candidates, councilmembers decided to take a closer look at the individuals and the committee as a whole before deciding the nine to be nominated.
The task force is expected to begin meeting in January.
Monday night, those on the task force received the following email from City Spokeswoman Virginia Olson:
Congratulations and thank you for your interest in volunteering on the City Hall Advisory Committee! Tonight, the City Council formally appointed you to serve on the Committee.
Here are the names of the Committee members so you know who will be on the team with you in the coming months. I have attached an unsigned draft resolution that was adopted this evening that names the committee.
Tonight, the City Council expressed how difficult the decision was to only select nine members because all 15 candidates interviewed very well and showed great enthusiasm. We hope everyone will stay engaged and involved in the process hope you will encourage your friends and neighbors to do so.
Ultimately, the Council thought this committee had a good representation of male and female perspectives, historical and new viewpoints, some specialized skills in construction/engineering/finance, involvement in previous campaigns for and against City Hall proposals, and the individuals would serve as positive and professional representatives in working with the community on this project.
Enjoy the holidays and we will be back in touch about scheduling the first meeting that we anticipate will be held in the 2nd or 3rd week of January.
Thank you for volunteering to work on this very important project. We look forward to working with you!
Virginia Olsen, CMC
City Clerk/Community Relations Director