Lynnwood City Council discusses new council, liaison appointments

Lynnwood City Council Vice President Christine Frizzell (left) discusses future council liaison positions. Also photographed (left to right) Councilmembers Jim Smith, Julieta Altamirano-Crosby and Shannon Sessions.

As the Lynnwood City Council kicked off the 2020 year with a Jan. 6 work session, two councilmembers have indicated their desire to become council president.

Council Vice President Christine Frizzell and Councilmember George Hurst both said they would like to fill the president’s role.

Each year, the council votes to elect a president to serve a one-year term. The winner is announced at the council’s first business meeting of the new year. This year, the vote will occur at the council’s Jan. 13 business meeting.

The vacant position was previously held by Ben Goodwin, a two-term council president who decided not to seek re-election and left the council in December. 

Speaking to her bid for president, Frizzell said she has learned a lot during her one-year term as vice president and would be honored to lead the council.

“I’ve got a few more ideas still to put out there…for us to work together as a council to make a difference where we are in our community,” she said.

If elected president, Frizzell said that she would make housing in the city her number-one priority. Frizzell added that she would like to see the council engage with Lynnwood residents more by going out into the community. Frizzell said she believes that would lead to more civic involvement, including an increase in the number of residents attending city council meetings.

Hurst said he wants to become council president “to reassert the council as a policy-making body”  — something it has failed to do during the past three years. “I think I could do that with strong leadership,” Hurst said.

Regardless of whether he is elected president, Hurst said he is looking forward to a great year for the city and praised his fellow councilmembers.

Running unopposed for council vice president, Councilmember Shannon Sessions — who previously served as council vice president in 2018 — said she would be honored to fill the position again.

“I learned a lot and really appreciated that supportive role in leadership for our council,” she said

During the meeting, the council also reviewed and discussed which members would serve as liaisons on various city boards, commissions and other outside agencies and organizations. Liaisons are elected by the council and have a term limit of one year.

The council will vote to appoint the following liaison positions at its July 13 business meeting:

– Councilmember Ian Cotton as liaison to the Alliance for Housing Affordability, with new Councilmember Jim Smith serving as the alternate.

– Mayor Nicola Smith as the city’s liaison to the Community Transit Board. This role had been filled for three years by Hurst, who said he would not seek reappointment and instead endorsed Mayor Smith to serve on the board. With Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link light rail expansion project heading for Lynnwood, Mayor Smith said she is also hoping to serve on the Sound Transit’s Board of Directors. For this to occur, however, she will also serve on the city’s transportation board.

– Cotton as the council’s liaison on the Lynnwood Tourism Advisory Council. He will replace Sessions, who will remain as the alternate.

– Hurst continuing as the liaison to the Snohomish County 911 Board. The board allows for cities to have more than one representative, so Lynnwood Police Chief Tom Davis will also serve with Hurst. Councilmember Smith was selected to serve as an alternate position.

– Frizzell as liaison to the Snohomish Health District. 

– Newly-elected Councilmember Julieta Altamirano-Crosby as liaison to Snohomish County Tomorrow.

After the council votes to elect a new council president, he or she will appoint other council liaison positions, including Arts Commission, Audit & Insurance/Finance Committee, Disability Board, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commission, History and Heritage Board, Human Services Commission, Lynnwood Public Facilities District, Lynnwood Citizens Patrol Volunteers, Lynnwood VIPS Volunteers, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, Planning Commission and Sister City Board.

–Story and photo by Cody Sexton

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