The Lynnwood City Council has replaced Ted Hikel as council president.
At Monday night’s meeting, members elected Mark Smith as their new leader for the rest of the year. Kerri Lonergan was picked as the new vice president. She replaces Stephanie Wright, who was appointed last month to the Snohomish County Council.
Hikel has been criticized by fellow councilmembers for supporting Mayor Don Gough throughout the investigation into Gough’s alleged mistreatment of city employees. When the Council censured Gough and called on him to resign, Hikel abstained from voting.
“When I asked to be council president at the beginning of this year it was my hope that I would help bring the council together to work with the the administration and make this a successful year, because we were going to deal with and we are dealing with a very difficult subject of the budget,” Hikel said Monday night.
“On Sunday in church the priest mentioned that the readings for the day were about reconciliation and I thought that was very appropriate for me. I began to think of my inability to provide reconciliation and in effect my failure, but I also know that the worst thing to do is not to try and during this time I have tried. I believe this council needs more reconciliation,” he said.
The council president sets the agenda and leads the meetings when the mayor is absent. He is paid $200 per month more than the rest of the council, who each earn $1,650 per month.