The city of Bellevue has some new blood and appears ready to tackle an array of challenges in 2011. Mayor Chris Koch and three City Council members, Larry Plott, Sara Burns and Barbara Patterson, were sworn in Thursday, Jan. 13.
The new council members took the place of longtime councilors Shaun Mahoney and Tammy Eaton, both of whom stepped down.
Mahoney was given a plaque for 10 years of service, the last six on the council.
"It has been six years of crazy stuff," Mahoney told the council. "Everything from annexations to building the sewer plant."
Koch took the opportunity to deliver a "state of the city" address, celebrating many successes since 2005, including improvements to five blocks of water lines, Safe Routes to Schools sidewalk construction and an increase in the number of businesses, from 104 to 137.
Koch also gave kudos to librarian Patty Gilman, who, he said, has distributed more than 2,000 books to low-income children, and said the city was working toward sustainability with a planned retrofit of streetlights and 14 grant-supported residential energy retrofits.
"We all need to be able to learn from the past and look toward the future," Koch said. "Sustainability is now at our citizens' fingertips, toes and noses."
Koch said the city must remain fiscally responsible in the coming year, but he hoped it would be possible to restore city staff to full-time status. He said he would also like to re-create the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and establish a "friends" group of volunteers to support O'Donnell Park.
Councilman Dave Hattula was voted in unanimously as City Council chair. The council members will be chosen as liaisons for city departments over the next two weeks, Koch said.
In other Bellevue news:
( The City Council passed a resolution in support of funding $24,000 toward a Broadford Road upgrade from Forbis Lane to the Broadford Road bridge. The money will cover 7.3 percent of a $333,000 federal grant for that purpose.
( The council granted a waiver for park fees for a volunteer-supported ice-skating rink now under construction in Bellevue Memorial Park
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