By Ashley Stewart Herald writer
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The City Council appointed a new member in a special meeting last week.
Bryan Wahl, vice chairman of the city’s Planning Commission, is scheduled to be sworn onto the council at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 and serve until an election in November 2013.
“I have a deep passion for our community and want to see us achieve the vision we have set forth,” Wahl said in his application.
Wahl will replace former council member Michele Robles, who resigned in late June citing health and personal reasons.
Robles’ term would have run through 2015, but state law requires that Wahl go before voters before completing a full term. He plans to stand for election in 2013.
Wahl has served on the planning commission for 14 years and has been vice chair since 2004. He has lived in Mountlake Terrace for 15 years.
“The planning commission is the ground floor in developing the vision for the city and the comprehensive plan,” Wahl said. “It will be a smooth transition.” He served on the commission with council members Kyoko Matsumoto Wright and Doug McCardle and said that he is looking forward the dynamic they shared.
For years, city leaders have talked about a need to replace its City Hall, find more space for the police station and get a new roof for the library.
The search for a solution remains a pressing issue for the council after a measure to borrow federal money build a new civic center failed with less than 60 percent of favorable votes.
When Wahl takes his seat on council in September, he will have to work with city leaders to revisit the issue.
“We need to do research, get back in field with voters and constituents and let them know were listening to what they are telling us,” he said.
He said he thinks the council should consider floating another bond measure instead of raising property taxes to pay rent on the interim city hall.
Wahl is a partner at Government Affairs Strategies, a consulting firm that develops public policy and other political campaigns and strategies, and has also served on the Puget Sound Regional Councils Growth Management Policy Board, the Shoreline Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners and King County’s Youth Services Citizens Advisory Committee. He is also on committees and boards for the Association of Washington Business and the National Association of Realtors.
Wahl said he hopes to use this experience to reach out and attract the business community to the area.
“The most important issue that our city faces is economic development and creating jobs within our community,” he said.
Wahl’s appointment to council has left a vacant spot on the planning commission. Mountlake Terrace residents who have experience with planning and development can apply by going to www.mlt.ci.wa.us or contacting Virginia Olsen at 425-744-6206.