Mill Creek Mayor Terry Ryan did not attend Tuesday’s City Council meeting in which the proposed annexation came to a vote, a move that drew criticism from some of his colleagues.
The Council, by a vote of 3-2, with Mike Todd abstaining, voted to not excuse Ryan from the meeting. Dale Hensley, Mary Kay Voss and John Hudgins voted not to excuse the Mayor, while Donna Michelson and Mark Bond voted to excuse him. Michelson made the motion to excuse Ryan, which was seconded by Bond.
Hensley, Voss and Hudgins opted not to excuse Ryan because he was coaching a girls soccer match.
Ryan is head girls soccer coach for Cedar Park Christian High School. Cedar Park Christian played at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma on Tuesday night for its league title.
“We don’t have rules on what constitutes an excused absence,” Hensley said. “I’m told the Mayor is coaching a girls soccer game in Tacoma. The Council has spent a year on this annexation, so I will vote no to excuse him, unless he has a family emergency.”
No other Council members spoke out about the absence during the meeting.
Ryan said he told Michelson and city manager Steve Nolen that he would miss the meeting and that Council could have postponed the annexation vote if it wanted to.
“There was nothing I could do,” Ryan said. “I had to coach a game. There was no one else to coach. It was important for me to be there.
“There are things that come up that people can’t control,” Ryan said. “It’s unfortunate.”
His City Council seat is up for re-election this year and Ryan is being challenged by political newcomer Brady Austin for the post. The mayor’s position is appointed by the Council for a two-year term.