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Snohomish swears in its new council members as first meeting goes smoothly

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SNOHOMISH — Before a packed room, the four incoming city councilmembers and Mayor John Kartak were publicly sworn in amid cheers and applause, marking a new era along with the city’s new government structure that began officially late last month.
The city chose the Dec. 5 council meeting to do the series of swear-ins and to say thanks and goodbye to the out-going councilmembers. The four outgoing councilmen, Derrick Burke (who was absent), Tom Hamilton, Dean Randall and Michael Rohrscheib were honored with plaques of appreciation for their years of service to the City Council. It was their last meeting.
New councilmembers Larry Countryman, Steve Dana, Tom Merrill and Linda Redmon will begin their elected terms at the first City Council meeting in January; Countryman and Dana are returning to council from prior stints. Councilman Jason Sanders starts his first elected term; he was appointed to the council earlier this year to replace Councilman Zach Wilde, who resigned 12 months ago.
City Councilwomen Lynn Schilaty and Karen Guzak were not up for re-election and welcomed their new teammates, or council peers.
Kartak was also sworn in as mayor publicly. He had
already been working and had been sworn into office Nov. 29, the day after the County Auditor certified the Nov. 7 election results.
The new City Council will have much to tackle in the new year, such as continuing the transition with the city’s government structure from weak mayor to strong mayor, as well as balance the budgetary impacts of the transition.
The Dec. 5 city council meeting began with a bit of wonkiness since it was Kartak’s first meeting to chair and he admitted to the audience he was reading off of his “crib notes.”
Some in the audience shouted encouraging words.
“Breathe, John,” one called out.
Guzak helped along with the order of things, leading the rest of the Council to help Kartak out with procedural nuances.
Several public comments were friendly, and also lamented the divisiveness last month’s election caused through social media. The meeting’s public comment time had 13 people speak over the span of about 36 minutes. 

Photos by Melanie Russell

John Kartak

Steve Dana

Larry Countryman

Tom Merrill

Linda Redmon

Jason Sanders

Outgoing council members Dean Randall, tom Hamilton and Michael Rohrscheib


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