CHELAN – Oaths of office by incoming councilmembers Ty Witt and Tim Hollingsworth, as well as incumbents Erin McCardle and Servando Robledo initiated the regular City Council meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 9 in council chambers at City Hall. Each council representative stood, hand raised, repeating oaths as instructed by City Clerk Peri Gallucci. After each receiving their certification solidifying their placement on the council, regular agenda items began.
Motion considerations consumed a bulk of the night’s agenda. Considerations included the assignment/election of a Mayor Pro Tempore, which was designated to Councilwoman Wendy Isenhart by unanimous decision. Isenhart currently serves in this capacity, and will continue to for another two years.
Council committee liaison assignments for 2018 were the next topic of discussion. Liaisons for each selected committee/board are chosen by each councilmember. Committee/board members for 2018 include:
Cascadia Conservation District – Wendy Isenhart with Mayor Mike Cooney as alternate
Chelan County Solid Waste Council – Previously liaised by Skip Morehouse, will now be attended by Ty Witt with Mayor Cooney as alternate.
Emergency Management Program– Previously liaised by Guy Harper, will now be attended by Ty Witt with Kelly Allen as alternate.
Lake Chelan Watershed Planning Unit – Previously liaised by Skip Morehouse, will now be attended by Tim Hollingsworth with Kelly Allen as an alternate.
Tourism promotions – Erin McCardle with Servando Robledo as an alternate.
Historic Downtown Chelan Association – Servando Robledo with Kelly Allen as an alternate.
North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD) – Previously liaised by Wendy Isenhart, will now be attended by Servando Robledo.
Planning Commission – Previously liaised by Kelly Allen, will now be attended by Tim Hollingsworth.
Concluding the night was reports from each department. Two of those reports, however, stood out amongst the rest. The Public Works Department added City Engineer Jake Youngren to the staff during the summer of 2017, with the intent of filling in the shoes of Public Works Director Dwayne Van Epps when he eventually retired. Van Epps’ attempt to pass during the department reports was interrupted by Mayor Cooney, as said to Van Epps in fun, “well I’m going to read a letter then,” he began. The letter, as Cooney began reading, was the official resignation from Van Epps. Within the letter, Van Epps stated, “I will take the occasion to express my gratitude to the City of Chelan for providing me the opportunity to work in a career that has proven to be tremendously rewarding. I am humbled by the trust extended to me by Mayors, administrators, councils throughout the years, and to you (Mayor Cooney) in particular. I am at the same time proud to have been part of so many projects within Chelan, the hometown that I love.” While his letter of resignation has already been submitted and accepted, Van Epps will be working until May 31, and will officially be off staff starting mid-July as he will be using up the remainder of his vacation, explained Cooney.
The second report that is sure to be talked about was providing by Finance Director Cheryl Grant. Reading off an interoffice correspondence, she began explaining a mystery payment received through the city’s online point and pay system. After contacting the source of the payment, finance department staff discovered that the payment was made by a local gentleman. “He stated that when he was younger, he threw a rock at one of the globes on the bridge and broke it,” Grant explained, “this was 20 years ago. He was not caught, but felt compelled to make right on his wrong.” The payment was for $400, she explained. Although the payer estimated the cost to replace the globe was only $100, “(he) wanted to pay four times the amount as a way of paying back society for his mischief,” she said. The gentleman’s mother stated that as a boy he had been quite mischievous and is making amends for his wrong doings. The funds were deposited to the street fund, stated Grant.
Prior to closing the meeting, Mayor Cooney informed attendees of a presentation that will be conducted by Chelan County PUD, Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. The purpose of the presentation will be focused on bitcoin users that “are moving into communities like ours,” Cooney explained, “we will be looking for ways to identify, through code enforcement, where they’re going and not impacting our neighborhoods.”
The Mayor held a town hall meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Senior Center, to discuss and help identify current housing needs.
The next regular council meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
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