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By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

Community connection -- 27 people 'attended' online

Mill Creek City Council met to name board member, update the community


Last updated 2/26/2021 at 10:12am

Twenty-seven people made it an evening with a community connection by attending the Mill Creek City Council meeting, online.

The council met Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m., livestreamed via Zoom and open to the public.

"Present" were a total of 27 participants. That included council members, officials, and residents.

Residents and interested people can attend the public meetings via Zoom. For those who do not wish to be visible or heard, the online tool offers the option to mute and attend without video. Attendance to public meetings gives residents the opportunity to learn about their city government's business operations.

The council agenda is posted here: Mentioned items include an update from the Snohomish Health District. Laurel Gizmo, finance director, provided a financial update on the city, as well as a Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Fund (CESF) Grants report.

What happened?

New Arts & Beautification member named

Carmen Fisher was appointed to the Arts & Beautification Board in a unanimous vote of the council. Councilmember John Steckler made the motion to appoint Fisher. She has a record of interest in city leadership. She ran for city council in 2019 against councilmember Vince Cavaleri and applied to a recent board position.

Fisher’s application for city council appointment in January of 2018 said brought the perspective of a renter, as an underrepresented demographic.

“The number of apartment dwellers in Mill creek increased dramatically over the past two decades,” she wrote in 2018. “and this portion of the population can become more integrated within the community.”

Fisher began attending council meetings in 2017, her application stated. Then, she said she had been a self-employed content creator since 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Her interview was done out of eyeshot of the public. Asked why, Mayor Pro Tem and council member Stephanie Vignal said this:

"The appointment interviews for committees have always been done with three or less Councilmembers and they are not a public meeting. This appointment was completed the same as they have been in the past. Also, the candidates and the interview schedule are available in the packet."

Other candidates were Tannis Golebiewski and Sid Siegel.

Fisher replaces the outgoing board member who had to move out of the city limits, said councilman John Steckler, in the last council meeting. She is committed to a role that runs through October of 2022.

City council appointments are always public interviews, Vignal said.

For the board appointment now filled by Fisher, Vignal said the decision was tough.

“This was a very difficult decision. We had outstanding candidates,” Vignal said of Fisher's appointment. Three candidates applied for the role. Vignal said she looked forward to candidates applying for other opportunities, in the future.

State connection discussed

Vignal suggested that the council make future plans to invite legislative representatives in October, every year, to communicate about needs for the city, and speak up for available funds. She said the council should be prepared to talk to state representatives and say, "this is what we need from you. This is where we want to go."

Cavaleri supported Vignal’s suggestion. He said the public may be under the impression that the councilmembers have time to travel to Olympia and keep in touch, but “most of us have day jobs.”

As for the plan to invite state leaders to the city and share that information, he was glad to hear the idea.

“I think it’s a long time coming and formalizing the process is a great first step,” Cavaleri said.

Litigation discussed

The council went into executive session at 7:55 to discuss litigation issues. A list of not-yet-resolved lawsuits as well as the monetary outcome of any lawsuits will be requested in an inquiry from The Beacon. Litigation can be discussed out of the public eye.

On Jan. 4, in a call about city issues, Steckler said the cost of litigation should be split out and "not buried" in city documents. Litigation costs for Mill Creek was "a controversial line-item in the budget, in 2020. Therefore, it should be its own line-item in 2021 so everybody can see it at all times."

City government information is available here:

Editor's Note: Mill Creek City Council meetings are online and open to the public, so attend next time and make it a festive evening: order take out or delivery from a Mill Creek restaurant to accompany your community government involvement. Show up, listen, and write a letter to the editor about what you think, what you hear, and what you want to read about in The Beacon. The Mill Creek Beacon is all yours, by subscription. Suscribe at Mill Creek Beacon or call 425-347-5634.


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