In front of an audience of Lynnwood-based Troop 304 Boy Scouts visiting to earn a merit badge, the Lynnwood City Council elected Benjamin Goodwin as 2017 council president and Ruth Ross as vice president during its Monday, Jan. 9 meeting.
The troop’s attendance was noted throughout the meeting by councilmembers, with light-hearted references made to the sometimes-tedious work of government — especially since Monday night’s agenda included the approval of several code amendments in areas ranging from mobile food vendors to off-site parking to planned unit development.
“Fellas, if you’ve ever heard the expression ‘you never want to watch them make laws or sausage,’ this is why you don’t want to watch us make laws,” said outgoing Council President M. Christopher Boyer. “Sometimes it’s all about paperwork and it’s kind of boring. Thank you for sticking with us.”
In accepting Boyer’s nomination as Council President, Goodwin — who is entering his fifth year on the council and just finished a year as council vice president — said he is “very honored to have this nomination. I’m definitely surrounded by a lot of good people. The councilmembers have a passion and a shared desire to make Lynnwood better…and to that end I want to encourage us to continue sharing our vision for the city and foster a council community of continued exemplified service to those to whom we are accountable.”
After Goodwin was elected unanimously, the council was set to begin the process of electing Councilmember Ruth Ross as vice president, and the Boy Scouts stood up to leave. “Wait, you can’t leave yet,” Ross called out to the scouts, as laughter erupted in the council chambers. “It’s my big moment.”
“They all have homework they have to go home and do,” the troop scoutmaster replied with a smile.
Other notes from Monday’s council meeting:
– During her remarks, Mayor Nicola Smith thanked Boyer for his “steadfast leadership” during his year as council president. “I have so enjoyed having you by my side.” She also addressed the announced resignation of Lynnwood Fire Chief Scott Cockrum, who has been on leave since mid-December to care for a family member in Southern California. “I know it was a difficult decision for him but ultimately he is doing what is best for him and his family, which I support wholeheartedly.” During his two years with the Lynnwood Fire Department, Chief Cockrum made significant strides in establishing the department as a model regionally and has been “an incredible leader, mentor and a great fire chief,” Smith said. Since the City of Lynnwood has a blended management agreed with Snohomish County Fire District 1 for fire services, Fire District 1 Assistant Chief Brad Reading will be taking over as interim fire chief for both the city and fire district, starting Jan. 13, Smith said. Cockrum’s resignation will have no effect on the city’s Regional Fire Authority (RFA) planning process and the city is “continuing our commitment to this effort,” the mayor said, adding the city is on track to submit an RFA plan to voters in August.
– Boyer thanked the mayor, city staff and council colleagues “for a really positive year.” Councilmembers at times have opposing viewpoints, “but even when we don’t agree, we are able to disagree with civility an work together toward constructive solutions,” Boyer said. As pastor of Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Boyer noted that he will be embarking on a new project that involves developing a “tent village” on Good Shepherd church property for five homeless students currently enrolled at Edmonds CC. “It’s not like the big tent cities down in King County,” Boyer said. “This is just five people but we’re being very careful to set that up with good security and good borders and good limitations and we’re really excited to be offering this opportunity to homeless students.” He invited other faith communities who are interested in a similar project to help those “living on the margins” to contact him for more details.
– Councilmember Shannon Sessions reminded the public about the grand opening of a Hero’s Cafe at 10 a.m. Jan. 31 at the Verdant Community Wellness Center, located at 4710 196th St. S.W. The cafe is “a monthly gathering for all veterans in partnership with the City of Lynnwood to focus on fostering positive interactions and outreach within the neighboring veterans community,” Sessions said. Coupled with the Veterans One-Stop Resource Center that the city opened at Verdant in 2016, it further enhances Lynnwood’s reputation as a veteran-friendly city, she added.
– The council did unanimously approve the staff-requested code amendments. You can see all of those changes here.