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Lynnwood Mayor breaks tie vote to award $25,000 in scholarships

ARTICLE UPDATE [1:21 p.m. May 10, 2022]: Added Executive Session outcome.

LYNNWOOD, Wash., May 9, 2022 – In a high energy council session, Mayor Christine Frizzell was the deciding vote, to break a tie by the council, that allocate $25,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for providing scholarships on registration for recreational classes through the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.

The Council received a presentation on April 20 which included a proposal to use $25,000 in ARPA funds to provide scholarships to support the participation in recreation classes by Lynnwood residents. The program assists with 75% of the cost of the class or activity.

Councilmember Binda moved to approve the funding of this amount at the April 25th Business Meeting. The motion was postponed to the business meeting on May 9th to allow Director Sordel of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department to provide additional information about the department’s Recreation Benefit Fund (RBF).

RBF is designed to provide financial assistance to residents 17 years and younger, adults 62 and older and disabled adults for recreational classes. A $25,000 contribution by the council will provide between 125-175 scholarships for our community members. The maximum benefit per person is $200.00 per year.

At Monday’s meeting, Councilman Josh Binda made a motion to his original motion of awarding $25,000 in ARPA funds for recreational scholarships, to double that amount to $50,000. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Shannon Sessions.

After debate by various councilmembers, the motion was tied 3-3 with Council President George Hurst and councilmembers Binda and Sessions voting for the increase; and Council Vice President Jim Smith and councilmembers Julieta Altamirano-Crosby and Patrick Decker voting against. Councilwoman Shirley Sutton was absent from the meeting.

Mayor Frizzell sided with the nays which killed the motion to increase the scholarship amount to $50,000.

Councilman Decker questioned how much of the scholarship would be used to reimburse direct cost to the city for the class versus the cost to the end user of the class. After some back-and-forth with Sarah Olson, Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department, it was shared that typically participants who qualify receive a 75% discount on course fees.

The remaining 25% is the responsibility of the participant, to which Decker stated that the scholarship monies should only be applied to cover the cost of the resident – 25% of the class fee – which would quadruple the number of eligible residents.

The original motion was tied 3-3 with Council President Hurst and councilmembers Binda and Sessions voting for the increase; and Council Vice President Smith and councilmembers Altamirano-Crosby and Decker voting against.

Mayor Frizzell sided with yeas to pass the motion allocating $25,000 in ARPA funds for recreational scholarships to eligible Lynnwood residents.

Public Hearing

A public hearing was opened for comments to the proposed corrections and updates to Title 1, 19, and 21 of the Lynnwood Municipal Code – link to agenda item, click here.

After no speakers on zoom nor in-person attendance and no comments by the city council, the Public Hearing was closed.

Proclamation: Cinco De Mayo

Lynnwood Councilwoman Altamirano-Crosby on behalf of the City of Lynnwood presented Cinco De Mayo proclamations to several residents of Lynnwood. The Proclamation was voted on and passed at the Business Meeting on April 25th.

cinco de mayo lynnwood
Picture of residents receiving Cinco De Mayo Proclamations from the City of Lynnwood. Front row: Francisco Barajas Owner of Ixtapa restaurant, Soledad Geminiano, Soledad Chavez, Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, Ana Paulino and Zita Paulino. Back row: Council Vice President Jim Smith, Council President George Hurst, Mayor Christine Frizzell, Councilwoman Shannon Sessions, Councilman Josh Binda, and Councilman Patrick Decker.

In addition to those in attendance, the following recipients of the proclamation were on zoom: Daniel Agis Eslava, representing the Governor of Guerrero State (Evelyn Salgado Pineda), Mario Pimienta, owner of Mazatlan Restaurant, Norma Otilia, Hernández Martínez, and Mayor of Chilpancingo de los Bravo, Guerrero. 

Lynnwood became the first city in Washington state to recognize and observe Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, as the historic struggle of the people of the Republic of Mexico for independence and freedom against the Empire of France.

The Snohomish County Council unanimously approved a resolution recognizing Cinco de Mayo, at its General Legislative Session, Wednesday, May 4.

Executive Session

The council convened for an executive session to discuss with the city attorney allegations of inappropriate conduct by a councilmember.

“I move to authorize the City to initiate an investigation of allegations of inappropriate conduct of a councilmember,” President Hurst motioned that was seconded by Councilwoman Altamirano-Crosby.

The motion passed 6-0.

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