Current Snohomish County Councilmember Mike Cooper was appointed Mayor of Edmonds Tuesday night, and he said he will immediately resign from his County Council seat so that he can officially take the job.
A former City of of Shoreline firefighter who also served two terms representing Edmonds in the state Legislature, Cooper said he is excited to be mayor of the city where he grew up and where he has lived for the past 36 years. “Let’s get down to business and get this city moving forward again,” he said in brief remarks to the council following his appointment.
Cooper received four nominations — from Councilmembers D.J. Wilson, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Strom Peterson and Lora Petso — and maintained those four votes during the first round of voting to secure the mayoral appointment. Receiving three nominations and three votes — from Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis, Michael Plunkett and Steve Bernheim — was former Edmonds City Councilmember Dick Van Hollebeke.
“I think you will bring much-needed skills to the city,” Peterson said to Cooper, adding that the new mayor’s legislative experience will be a boon when working with the council. “You know where we’ve been and it gives you an extra sense of how we can get things done,” Peterson said.
Fraley-Monillas, who has known Cooper since she first volunteered to work on his legislative campaign 15 years ago, described him as “very diplomatic but not wishy-washy. He can work well with anybody. He can help move us forward.”
Plunkett recalled being a few years younger than Cooper at Edmonds High School, where Plunkett was on the baseball team and Cooper was a wrestler. “This is the first mayor that used to beat me up in the hallways. I haven’t forgotten about it and I’ll make sure he pays,” Plunkett joked.
Cooper’s selection also sets in motion D.J. Wilson’s quest for Cooper’s County Council seat. Wilson confirmed Tuesday night that he is continuing to call precinct committee officers from District 3 (the council district that Cooper now represents), who will meet to pick their top three candidates for Cooper’s replacement. Two other officials have expressed interest in the seat: Lynnwood City Councilmember Stephanie Wright and state Rep. Marko Liias.
A standing room-only crowd was on hand to see Cooper’s appointment, but many of them were there for another matter: To comment on a proposal by Plunkett to place a city manager form of government before voters. In a surprising move, councilmembers voted 5-2 (Wilson and Peterson dissenting) to remove the public hearing on the city manager government from the agenda altogether, stating that they did not intend to take action on it that night and wanted to move the agenda along.
However, citizens were given an opportunity share their views on the governance change during the audience comment portion of the agenda, with opinion almost evenly divided between those supporting and opposing the proposal.
At the end of the meeting, Plunkett explained that he supported removing the city manager discussion from the agenda because “the council does not want to deal with it this year. I hope we will get it on the ballot next year.”
In other action, the council:
– Took public comment on a proposal to ban polystyrene food takeout containers from Edmonds businesses but agreed that they wouldn’t make an immediate decision on the matter. Offering testimony were Holly Chisa of the Northwest Grocery Association and Josh McDonald from the Washington Restaurant Association, who both said their members continue to face many challenges in complying with the ban already in place in Seattle.
“We are not coming down with any kind of Draconian measure,” Peterson said. “We are trying to work as closely with them (the businesses) as possible. We are aware of the issues in surrounding communities and we are taking them into account.”
– Heard a presentation from Trevor Greenfield, co-founder of the new Edmonds International Film Festival, which is scheduled to debut Oct. 20-24 with three days and nights of premier films, events and workshops.