Lynnwood City Council postpones virtual attendance vote, says goodbye to City Attorney Rosemary Larson

Lynnwood City Councilmembers saying goodbye to City Attorney Rosemary Larson, far left, after 12 years of service.

The Lynnwood City Council at its March 28 business meeting postponed for a second time its vote on the new virtual attendance rules.

Two weeks ago, the council planned to limit virtual attendance to three per year. However, due to Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear whether the council could do so.

Councilmember Jim Smith on Monday night moved to postpone the vote until the council’s April 11 business meeting, though he did not give a reason for the postponement. The motion passed unanimously.

In other business, the council recognized and thanked City Attorney Rosemary Larson of law firm Inslee Best for her years of service to the city. On March 31, current law firm Inslee Best will no longer be representing Lynnwood and will be replaced by Kenyon Disend.

“You’re very appreciated by all of us up here,” Smith said. “And all of us that have been around for years and years and years.”

Many other city officials and councilmembers voiced their thanks to Larson for her 12 years of service to Lynnwood. Larson also shared her appreciation for always feeling welcomed.

“I can’t say enough good things about city staff,” Larson said. “Everyone on staff has always been so welcoming. It’s been so easy to do my job and have a good time doing it here.”

Also during the meeting, Mayor Christine Frizzell terminated the emergency proclamation the council approved on Feb. 14, 2022. The proclamation was aimed at giving Lynnwood the ability to quickly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the council said it was no longer needed.

In addition, the council formed a task force for creating a Lynnwood youth council. Councilmember Julieta Altamirano-Crosby was assigned as chairperson, with Councilmembers Shannon Sessions and Josh Binda as members. The task force will conduct surveys and provide a written report to the council no later than June 15, 2022.

While councilmembers were set to vote Monday on Councilmember Smith’s proposed budget for a community fair this summer, they decided against it, as Smith felt there was not enough city staff support to make continued planning worthwhile.

“I’ve put in 60-80 hours already for this thing, and I’m not going to continue working on [it only to receive] negative pushback for all of this,” Smith said. “Therefore, I don’t see a reason to move ahead when we don’t have support. To me, I think this is just dead.”

Many councilmembers agreed that while the fair was a good idea, there has not been ample time to plan and retain city support for it to be successful.

“What we discussed at the summit as a council … was that we definitely want to have more events,” Councilmember Sessions said. “What we did not say, [was that] it was going to be within a few months of the time we mentioned it without consulting with city officials and all the people that help us make this happen properly.”

Councilmembers Sessions and Decker said the council should see this as a learning experience, adding they hoped Smith’s community fair will happen in the next few years.

 A public hearing was also held regarding the proposed police-worn body camera fee. State law provides that certain body-worn camera recordings, or portions thereof, are exempt from disclosure in certain circumstances. That same statute provides that a law enforcement agency may require reasonable payment for the costs of redacting, altering, distorting, pixelating, suppressing or otherwise obscuring any portion of a body worn camera recording. 

The proposed fee for redacting body camera footage is 98 cents per minute, or $58.94 an hour.

No public comments were made during the public hearing, and councilmembers did not ask any further questions regarding the matter.

— By Lauren Reichenbach

  1. It feels like a good amount of time is spent at these meetings discussing if they should have meetings in person or virtually. Government (in)action!

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