Hikel new council leader

  • By Mina Williams Enterprise editor
  • Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:03pm

LYNNWOOD — Councilman Ted Hikel has been unanimously elected president of the council.

“I see this (election) as a great responsibility,” Hikel told the Enterprise. “I am happy to lend anything I can to move Lynnwood forward.

“This position is like the conductor of an orchestra. But it takes all members to make good music,” he added. “We are working at bringing the council together. With our two new members there is an exciting mix. Some of us old timers might have too much experience.”

Hikel said his first initiative to address is the budget.

“We are faced with the same serious questions that have been raised in other cities. We found a way to balance the 2010 budget. Now we have to get through the next two years’ (budget),” he said. “Everything will be on the table. We will look at cuts in services, cuts in taxes, new taxes. We will rethink how we do things. It will be a huge cooperative effort between the council, the mayor, city staff and citizens.”

This cooperative process will include outreach meetings to the public once options are fleshed out, he said. “We have to hear from the citizens their opinions of what we should do and the way we should go.”

Annexation is another item Hikel said the council will address. In Superior Court, the city of Mill Creek challenged the Boundary Review Board’s decision to allow Lynnwood to proceed with annexation. The court’s decision is expected by the end of January. Mill Creek would have 30 days to appeal the decision, pushing the vote to November 2010.

“Increasing Lynnwood’s size and population means that the city can directly apply to federal and state agencies for infrastructure funding,” he said. “With a 50,000-plus population we could bypass going through the county. Plus those citizens living in the area would receive a higher level of police service.”

Hikel was first elected to city council 40 years ago. He is currently in his fifth term as councilman. Hikel has lived in the city 42 years.

“Growing up in an Air Force family I always wanted to live in one house where my children would grow up in,” Hikel said. “It is wonderful to have a community like Lynnwood to live in.”

When asked the tone he will set for the year, Hikel said he admired Councilman Loren Smith’s tenure as president and plans to emulate his “good example.”

The election was held during the Jan. 11 meeting.

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