Parks board member selected for Mukilteo city council

MUKILTEO — Christine Cook will join the City Council in Mukilteo.

Cook, 53, was selected Monday to fill the term of Jennifer Gregerson, who was elected mayor. Cook has been a member of the city’s Parks and Arts Commission, an advisory panel, since 2009. She is scheduled to be sworn in at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 11930 Cyrus Way.

“I wanted to be more involved in the priority-setting for the city,” Cook said of her interest in filling the vacancy.

The City Council selected Cook on Monday over 10 other applicants. Interviews were conducted, and council members first voted for their top six choices.

The four who received the most votes were sent to the next round, where council members voted for their top two choices. Those who emerged were Cook and Janet Hammerman.

Cook was eventually given the nod in a 5-1 vote.

Of the seven people who will make up the council, five previously served on the Parks and Arts Commission, including council president Randy Lord. He was elected to the City Council in 2005 and is now the senior member.

Lord said he was impressed with Cook’s years of service to the city and her ability to think on her feet during questioning by the council.

“I was looking for someone who can form an objective opinion and argue a point, but be able to be civil,” he said.

With the city’s recent purchase of land in Japanese Gulch and with redevelopment coming to the former tank farm property on the waterfront, it’s important to make the most of those opportunities, Cook said.

She supports expanding recreation in the gulch and ensuring public access to the shoreline in conjunction with a planned ferry terminal at the tank farm.

The city also needs more sidewalks and crosswalks, Cook said.

“It’s critically important that we provide services for our senior citizens in terms of recreation and provide adequate park space and safe crosswalks and sidewalks for our students to arrive safely at school,” she said.

Cook is a former laboratory research technician in cancer diagnosis and heart-and-kidney transplants at the University of Utah and the University of Arkansas. She and her husband, James, have a son and daughter in college in Seattle.

When her kids were in school in Mukilteo, Cook helped with school activities, including music programs and science fairs. She also volunteered with the Boy Scouts.

With her children out of the house, “I’m transitioning away from my traditional volunteer role at school,” Cook said.

Cook is the third new member of the council this year. Bob Champion, an aerospace scientist for Honeywell, and Ted Wheeler, who owns construction-related businesses in Mukilteo and Arlington, were elected in November. Champion defeated incumbent Richard Emery, and Wheeler won the seat that was vacated when Kevin Stoltz chose not to run for a third term.

The others who applied for Gregerson’s vacancy were Brendon Jon Boyce, Carolyn “Dode” Carlson, Scott Casselman, Janet Hammerman, Ron Johnson, Mohammed Riaz Khan, Kevin Laverty, Michele Meaker Pin, Terry Preshaw and Nicole Thomsen.

“The best thing that came out of this was we met 11 outstanding citizens of Mukilteo,” Lord said. “Really bright and enthusiastic.”

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; bsheets@heraldnet.com.

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