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The fantastic four: Mukilteo swears-in new council members

MUKILTEO—To a full chamber of supporters, Mukilteo City Council members-elect Donna Vago and Mike Dixon, along with incumbents Richard Emery and Jason Moon were sworn-in at its first business meeting of the new year on January 2. The council also voted to appoint Louis Harris as Council President and Tom Jordal as Vice President.

Mukilteo council members
Newly sworn-in Mukilteo Council members: Mike Dixon, Richard Emery, Jason Moon, and Donna Vago. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“I am proud of him,” Geneva Dixon, the mother of Councilman Mike Dixon. “He is going to do a great job; he loves people.”

Mrs. Dixon flew all the way from the Virgin Islands, birthplace of Councilman Dixon, to witness this momentous day she shared with her grandson, Nehemiah, and Mike’s partner Alise.

Mike Dixon

Councilman Mike Dixon (center) with (L-R) his mother Geneva Dixon, Nehemiah, and partner Alise. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“I am super excited,” Alise told the Lynnwood Times. “Mike has a lot of great ideas for the community. He is a good man, and he cares about this community deeply…there are going to be some good changes.”

“I am proud of her,” Eric, Councilwoman Vago’s husband, shared with the Lynnwood Times. “I am happy for her, she worked hard.”

Jason Moon
Councilman Jason Moon (back row, center) with his wife, family members and supporters. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“I am very happy,” one of Councilman Moon’s relatives holding back tears told the Lynnwood Times who requested to remain anonymous.

Former Mukilteo School District Board President Michael Simmons shared the following words of advice for the newly sworn-in Mukilteo Council members: “Listen, listen, and listen.”

Mukilteo council members
Mukilteo Council President Louis Harris and Vice President Tom Jordal. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

The council agreed that it will address the return of virtual public comments in the near future. At its last meeting of 2023, the council voted unanimously restricting virtual public comments. Prior to the motion passing, Mukilteo Councilman Steve Schmalz clarified that starting at the current and future meetings that virtual attendees (those on Zoom) would only be able to submit public comments via email at elected@mukilteowa.gov. Also, the requestor must specify for their comment to be read.

Therefore, only in-person attendees can speak on city operational matters during public comments (Opening, Closing and for an Agenda Item) without a restriction. Those unable to physically attend an in-person meeting would need to email their comment(s) to the council at the aforementioned email and request for it to be read by the presiding officer.

Council member Committee Assignments

The mayor and council members volunteered for the following committee assignments to be approved at the next Business meeting:

  • Community Support Grant Committee: Mike Dixon, Steve Schmalz, Jason Moon
  • Lodging Tax Advisory Committee: Jason Moon, Steve Schmalz (alternate)
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission Liaison: Mike Dixon, Steve Schmalz
  • Historic Preservation Commission Liaison: Steve Schmalz
  • Parks & Arts Commission Liaison: Donna Vago, (alternate vacant)
  • Planning Commission Liaison: Richard Emery, Louis Harris (alternate)
  • Youth Advisory Committee: Jason Moon, Tom Jordal (alternate)
  • Alliance for Housing Affordability: Louis Harris, Richard Emery (alternate)
  • Community Transit Board Representative: Joe Marine
  • Paine Field Airport Commission Liaison: Louis Harris, Richard Emery
  • Snohomish County Tomorrow Steering Committee: Jason Moon, Louis Harris (alternate)
  • Snohomish County Health Department: Disbanded
  • Sno911 Board Representative: Tom Jordal
  • Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA 8) Salmon Recovery Council: Richard Emery

Councilman Schmalz shared that he would like the council to consider attracting Community Transit’s Zip service to Mukilteo. Councilman Dixon expressed interest in a return to working committees as an option to improve council operational efficiency. Both of these items are to be address in a future meeting.

Proclamations

The following proclamations were read:

DEI Commission Appointment and Reappointments

The Mukilteo City Council unanimously approved Mayor Marine’s recommendation to appoint Shahrooz Jahanbin to Position 2 for the remainder of the term expiring December 31, 2024, and to reappoint Zakia Bushra to Position 6 and James Yoo to Position 7 on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission for three-year terms expiring December 31, 2026.

Parks and Arts Commission Reappointment

The Council unanimously approved Mayor Marine’s recommendation to reappoint Janet Hammerman to the Parks and Arts Commission for a three-year term ending January 1, 2027.

ClearGov Budget Software

The Mukilteo City Council unanimously authorized  the Finance Director to sign a Service Order between the City of Mukilteo and ClearGov for a first-year budget software licensing subscription with a total not to exceed $33,387.50.

The City Council approved the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies to fund the purchase of new financial software to replace the Eden software currently in use as it will no longer be supported by the vendor as of 2027. The financial system is comprised of three areas: Budget, Accounting and Human Resources, and Payroll.

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