EDMONDS — After the results of the general election were certified Tuesday, Dave Earling was sworn in at the Edmonds Library as the city’s newest mayor.
As he came to the podium to take the oath of office, a trumpeter played ruffles and flourishes — a surprise for Earling. The trumpet is Earling’s instrument. He taught music at Shoreline Community College for 11 years and usually plays taps at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Edmonds Cemetery.
Earling told the assembled 150-plus residents, city staff and onlookers that he was humbled by the number of votes of confidence he received in the election. He added that he was inspired with the Edmonds voter turnout, which was among the highest in the state.
“People in this town truly care about what the city does,” he said. “We have a fabulous staff and a wonderful council. Now we need to have a blunt discussion in what we are going to do before 2013 when the city’s expenses will exceed revenues.”
He laid out four options that, alone or combined, could be put to work to solve the impending financial problem.
“We can hope for a miracle of an economic turnaround; we can ask the voters for additional taxes; we can cut deeper into the city budget; we can put together an enthusiastic economic development plan,” he said. “This community historically works together and makes hard decisions.”
Earling calls Edmonds a great city to be involved in and an “easy place to call home.”
In politics, and in life, family is everything to Earling. He points to his two sons, Eric and John, who were involved with his campaign, as securing his political win.
“They just said, ‘Dad, you go and raise money and leave the rest to us,’” he said.
Earling, 68, and his wife, Susan, live in Perrinville. Before that they lived in the Seaview neighborhood. They raised their three children in Edmonds.
Earling’s two sons live in the area; his daughter, Sarah, lives in Arizona.
The former three-term Edmonds city councilman also served on the Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board, appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire. He retired from that $95,000-a-year position to make his bid for City Hall.
While the $113,000-a-year Edmonds mayor post is nonpartisan, Earling is a Republican.
He ran, unsuccessfully, for Snohomish County executive in 2003 against Democrat Aaron Reardon.
Earling has also held board positions with Sound Transit, Community Transit, the Edmonds Public Schools Foundation, Senior Services of Snohomish County and Washington Conservation Voters.
Councilwomen Diane Buckshnis and Lora Petso also were sworn in with Earling. Both women were elected to vacated seats.