By Evan Smith
Newly appointed Edmonds City Councilman Thomas Mesaros, had praise for fellow council members, for Mayor Dave Earling and for city staff members last week along with other observations about his first two months on the Council:
Mesaros said he has found that his fellow council members truly care about the city and take their responsibilities seriously.
“It is apparent that we do not always vote together, but we equally care about the direction and future of Edmonds, he said. “We are in the midst of several retreat sessions where we are discovering better ways to work together and communicate better. We realize we are seven different people and bring different gifts and talents to the council. We are learning how to listen to one another, effectively craft legislation that will assist the mayor and the city staff, and also provide a vision for our city’s future.”
Mesaros said that building informal relationships with fellow council members can be difficult.
He noted that when he first was appointed, he and his wife talked about inviting other council members to dinner but decided that such a gathering could violate state public meeting laws.
“Socializing would help us learn from one another, but there are few opportunities for this,” he said. “I wish there were more. It would help us to work better together.”
Mesaros said that Edmonds has a quality staff led by quality department directors.
“The mayor and his team of leaders have the responsibility to implement the laws we pass (and have passed over the years), and they provide quality recommendations for our future,” he said. “I am happy to be working with the mayor; he was chosen to lead our city and it is council’s task to work with him to improve things that need improving and maintain things that are working well.”
Mesaros noted the slow, deliberate pace of democracy.
“Ideas have to be considered, vetted by the public, researched by staff and consultants, and pondered by seven council members,” he said. “I often want things to move faster, but this is a democratic, open process and nothing moves fast when many constituency groups are involved in decision making. It may be slower than I want, but it is a good system and we are doing our best to make it work.”
Mesaros said that he looks forward to serving the city for many years to come.
He said that he is confident that the council will resolve key issues involving Sunset Avenue, the waterfront, the Westgate business district, Highway 99 improvements and others and it that the Council will resolve them in a positive, constructive manner.
The other six council members appointed Mesaros March 11 to replace former Councilman Frank Yamamoto, who had resigned at the end of December.
The appointment came after 59 ballots over a month’s time.
Mesaros will serve through the 2015 election, when he would have to run for a full four-year term to keep the position.