Former councilmember expresses concerns to City Council

Screenshot (35)Monday’s City Council business meeting began as Mayor Nicola Smith enthusiastically introduced Tami Hertzler, the new Executive Assistant to the Mayor. Hertzler has a planning and public safety background and is a mother of four.

“She is ready to be back at work,” Smith said, “and I don’t blame her!”

Public comments were supplied by a single audience member: former councilmember Ted Hikel. A Lynnwood resident for more than 48 years, Hikel served as a councilmember in the 1970s and 2000s, and has been involved in several petitions, lawsuits and campaigns including the Lynnwood Citizens for Fireworks and Freedom,  suing the Lynnwood’s Transportation Benefit District and a public records request which turned into a lawsuit against the city. The case was dismissed, but the Hikel lawsuit cost the city more than $10,000 in attorney’s fees for one month, not including the hours and resources used in the execution of the request.

After losing re-election to city council, Hikel has continued to voice and publicize his concerns to the mayor and councilmembers regarding a variety of topics.

“I am concerned that the council has not really buckled down,” Hikel said regarding the city’s budget.

He also stated his concern that council meetings are only taking an average of one hour and 28 minutes, and not requiring time extensions.

“A lot needs to be done,” Hikel said.

Following public comments, four proclamations were read and presented before the council. Council President M. Christopher Boyer, prefacing that “it is a very important subject dear to my heart,” read the Arts Education Month Proclamation.

Mayor Smith read a proclamation honoring Chief of Police Steven J. Jensen. Jensen celebrated his retirement last week after providing more than two decades of service to Lynnwood. The proclamation “expressed their gratitude for his service,” Mayor Smith said. Acting Chief Bryan Stanifer supported the proclamation from the audience.

“Steven J. Jensen has served as a police officer for over 45 years,” Mayor Smith said, “and an exemplary Chief of Police for his concluding 21 years of public service.”

Other Proclamations include:

  • Councilmember George Hurst read the Public Works Week Proclamation
  • Councilmember Shannon Sessions read the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Proclamation

Also at Monday’s meeting:

  • Reminder about May 11 community open house
  • Adoption of the Healthy Communities Action Plan resolution
  • Authorized the mayor to contract with Transportation Solutions, Inc.
  • Authorized the mayor to extend a contract for 3 years of Water Treatment Chemicals estimated at $200,000 per year
  • Approved interagency agreement with Washington State Department of Natural Resources for Assistant Chief Tod Gates to continue to act as emergency response
  • Approved voucher for claims and payroll totaling $2,413,458.26 and $1,499,407.50
  • Public hearing and approval (6 to 1) for Omnibus Code Amendments
  • Scheduled a special work session on May 25 at 6 p.m.

–By Emily Scott

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