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New leadership roles assumed at first City Council meeting of the year

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Tom Scribner

SCRIBNER

Leaders swapped seats this week as Walla Walla City Council elected member Tom Scribner as mayor and welcomed new Council members Ted Koehler and Susan Nakonieczny on Wednesday, at the first Council meeting of the year.

Koehler said he is excited to learn more about city programs and functions.

“I look forward to this adventure with my co-council members and city staff as not only a learning experience, but a chance to be a proactive part of a system that can improve the quality of life in our city,” Koehler said.

Walla Walla has a council-manager form of government. City Council selects the mayor from among its members for a two-year term, Scribner said.

“Just a quick background, there are a number of cities in Washington that have a mayor-council form of government,” Scribner said. “In those cities, the mayor is elected as mayor by the citizens at large.”

In Walla Walla, Council also chooses a mayor pro tempore from its members. This person serves in the absence of the mayor and is also for two years, he said.

On Wednesday, Scribner opened the floor for nominations of the next mayor.

Councilman Myron Huie nominated Scribner. Riley Clubb seconded the motion. There were no other nominations, and city leaders voted Scribner in as mayor unanimously.

Nominations for mayor pro tempore were on the floor. Nakonieczny nominated Huie, Councilwoman Yazmin Bahena nominated Steve Moss.

City leaders voted 5-2 for Moss as mayor pro tempore.

One of the city’s first decisions of the year was to allow new business from public comments to be addressed at the beginning of the Council meeting instead of at the end, as in previous years.

Chloe LeValley can be reached at chloelevalley@wwub.com or 509-526-8326.

Chloe LeValley covers civic engagement in the Walla Walla Valley including city governments, county commissioners and other civic groups. She is a recent graduate from San Francisco State University and came to join our team in October 2019.