City Council Roundup | Jan. 7, 2020
Posted on 01/13/2020

The Newcastle City Council roundups offer a digest of notable items for those who can't make it to the regular meetings. View the meeting agenda packet here and the audio here. View past City Council roundups at newcastlewa.gov/councilrecaps.

COUNCIL ELECTS MAYOR, DEPUTY MAYOR

Say hello to your new Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Newcastle. Newcastle Mayor Linda Newing and Deputy Mayor Tony Ventrella were each elected for two-year terms during the first meeting of the year on Jan. 7. Mayor Newing is now in her second term on the Newcastle City Council, first elected for a four-year term starting in 2016, then re-elected in November 2019.

“I am humbled to serve as your Mayor,” Mayor Newing said during the meeting. “I want to build a collaborative Council that works together to move Newcastle forward.”

Mayor Newing studied tax and public accounting in college and has experience managing budgets and multi-year grants over the course of her career. She currently works in the public works department for a neighboring municipality, where she manages a portion of the department’s budget and grants. Prior to serving on the City Council, she served on the volunteer Newcastle Community Activities Commission from 2013-15.

Deputy Mayor Ventrella, now in his first term on the Newcastle City Council, was elected for a four-year term starting in 2020. He previously spent four years on the Community Activities Commission. You might recognize him from his decades-long career in Seattle sports media, working as a sports director for local TV stations. He was also the Seattle Seahawks’ Digital Media Host for more than a decade.

“I have great respect for all of the Councilmembers,” he said. “I look forward to working together and representing the City in the best way I can at the local level and beyond.”

The City of Newcastle operates with a Council-Manager form of government. In this system, the City Council provides leadership by establishing goals, plans and policies. Every two years, the Council elects a Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Mayor directs the conduct of Council meetings and represents the Council at other meetings and events, and the Deputy Mayor serves in the Mayor's absence.

NEW COUNCILMEMBERS TAKE OATH OF OFFICE

It was the very first meeting for the three new Councilmembers. Judge Wayne Stewart administered the Oath of Office for new Councilmembers Tony Ventrella, Ariana Sherlock, Tom Griffin and re-elected Councilmember Linda Newing, prior to the mayoral election.

Councilmember Griffin has lived in Newcastle since 1978 and is a Certified Public Accountant who has experience in budgeting and all phases of accounting. He lives in the Hazelwood neighborhood with his wife Yvonne.

Councilmember Sherlock and her husband Ryan moved to the Hazelwood neighborhood in 2013. Her two children Adelai and Liam attend Hazelwood Elementary School, where Councilmember Sherlock also serves as the PTSA President. She is a personal chef and the current President of the Hazelwood Community Association.

GENERAL UPDATES

— In a presentation to the City Council, Public Works Director Jeff Brauns gave a detailed overview of capital improvements the City plans to tackle in 2020. These include various parks, transportation and surface water management projects. You can flip through a copy of the presentation here. Director Brauns noted that the City is limited in the parks projects it can take on, after the previous Council voted not to fund the Parks Project Planner going forward. For example, planned construction on Phase 1 of the Lake Boren Park Master Plan (a boardwalk along the lake’s southern shore) has been deferred due to staffing.

— A consultant presented the results of an access and signalization study for a signal that connects the two shopping centers across Coal Creek Parkway. The project was identified as a high-priority in the Downtown Strategic Plan, which envisions it as either a pedestrian-only signal or an all-modes traffic signal to accommodate vehicular traffic. According to the needs analysis, neither a pedestrian-only nor an all-modes traffic signal is needed based on current conditions. However, that could change as development continues and the number of motorized and non-motorized users increase. Flip through a copy of the consultant presentation here.

— The City Council welcomed special guests from Cub Scout Pack 629. The scouts asked Councilmembers questions about their roles in local government and presented the colors at the start of the meeting.

The Newcastle City Council wants to hear from you! Members of the public are invited to share thoughts during public hearings or two open public comment periods at meetings. Regular meetings of the City Council occur on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at City Hall, starting at 7 p.m. You can also email your thoughts to Councilmembers. To send a message to the entire Council, email citycouncil@newcastlewa.gov.

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