Steve Bernheim elected Council President

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The Edmonds City Council added some pomp and circumstance to its first council meeting of the new year, swearing in three newly elected councilmembers, selecting a new council president, making committee assignments and approving a citizen to the city’s Planning Board.

Each councilmember was able to chose a person to administer the oath of office. Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, who unseated incumbent Ron Wambolt in the primary and went on to win the general election in November, was sworn in by Washington State Court of Appeals Judge Steve Dwyer, to the applause of dozens of friends, family and local elected officials who supported her candidacy.

Michael Plunkett, starting his fourth term on the council, took the oath of office from his daughter while Strom Peterson, who is beginning his first full term after being appointed to fill a vacant seat last year, took the oath of office from his wife.

New Council President Steve Bernheim

Steve Bernheim was unanimously elected Council President, replacing outgoing president D.J. Wilson, who was presented with a resolution thanking him for his year of service.

In other action, the council:

-Voted unanimously to appoint resident Todd Cloutier to the Planning Board.

-Heard a report from David Mosley, assistant secretary of the Washington State Ferries, regarding the ferry system’s vehicle reservations pre-design study. The Edmonds-Kingston run is one of the locations being considered for a vehicle reservation system, which may be considered by the state Legislature during its upcoming 2010 session.

-Approved, by a 4-2 vote, two agreements between the City of Edmonds and Sound Transit so that Sound Transit can proceed with construction of a permanent Edmonds Commuter Rail Station. The current structure has always been deemed temporary, anticipating the station would be relocated along with the Edmonds ferry terminal — a project that the ferry system has indefinitely put on hold. Bernheim and Wilson voted against approval, stating that they wanted the city to reconsider design elements that could make the station more attractive, environmentally friendly and more practical for pedestrian traffic.

-Listened to citizen concerns in the Westgate neighborhood regarding a proposal by Clearwire to convert a utility pole at 228th and 96th to a broadband tower. Several neighbors testified against the plan, stating it was inappropriate for a residential neighborhood. Joe Van Mieghem said that he and his wife were concerned about the possible negative health effects that radiation from the tower could have on their young children. “Please help us preserve our fine neighborhood that we are proud of,” Van Mieghem added.

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