New Council Members Will Be Sworn In Tuesday

Returning will be Bob Simmons, joined by newly-elected Loella Haskew and Justin Wedel.

The City Council agenda Tuesday is fairly light, but fairly signifiant: two current members will step down, two newly-elected members will take their place, and the present mayor will not only be sworn for a second term, but will relinquish his mayoral role.

Mayor Pro Tem Kish Rajan, who initially sought re-election, will instead leave his council duties and head a new state business agency. His service will be acknowledged by his colleagues tonight. 

Also stepping down is long-time councilman Gary Skrel, who has been on the council since 2000 and chose not to seek another term. 

Bob Simmons, who presently wields the mayor's gavel, will be sworn in to his second term on Tuesday. He received the most votes on Nov. 6, with 18,491, or 26 percent. Since he has served as mayor for a year, he will turn over his mayoral duties to another council member. The job was supposed to go to Rajan, with Skrel as Pro Tem. 

With the departure of Rajan and Skrel, the mayoral assignment fell to councilwoman Kristina Lawson. But Lawson requested at a meeting last month that councilwoman Cindy Silva pick up the gavel for the 2013 session, with Lawson serving as Pro Tem. The newly-seated council will make that determination as its first official order of business on Tuesday. 

And taking their seats on the dias for the first time will be newcomers Loella Haskew and Justin Wedel.

Haskew, a semi-retired CPA, raised some eyebrows and a few hackles during the campaign when she openly supported the possibility of a sales tax increase to offset the loss of general fund revenues. She won 23 percent of the vote, or 16,267.

Wedel ran in opposition to the sales tax increase proposal, and has been a critic of the council's fiscal policies. He ran unsuccessfully in 2010, but won his seat this year with 13,798 votes, or 20 percent. 

The council will meet at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 1666 North Main St.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »