Farewell reception held for outgoing Mukilteo mayor, councilmembers
With the New Year, Mukilteo will see a lot of new faces in its city government.
In the November election, voters asked for change, and they got it: The terms of Mayor Joe Marine and Councilmembers Richard Emery and Kevin Stoltz end on Dec. 31.
A new mayor and two new councilmembers will be sworn in on Jan. 6. A third councilmember will also be appointed on Jan. 21 to serve the remainder of the unexpired term of Mayor-elect Jennifer Gregerson.
A special reception was held on Dec. 16 to thank Marine, Emery and Stoltz for their many years of service to the city as mayor and on the council, respectively. The three have served a collective 22 years.
At the reception, Marine and Emery received plaques in recognition of their dedication and service. Stoltz was absent.
“This city was incorporated in 1947, and for a small piece of time, people have had an opportunity to make a difference, and it molds where Mukilteo is today,” Marine said. “It was our time, for a while, to make Mukilteo what it is. I’m sad, but I’m also happy to see what the next chapter is and where Mukilteo goes from here.”
Marine was mayor of Mukilteo for eight years. He was first elected to the office in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. He lost his bid for a third term to former councilmember Gregerson.
Emery served six years on the council. He was appointed in 2008 to serve an unexpired term and was elected to serve a full term in 2009. He lost his bid for re-election to Position 2 to Bob Champion.
Stoltz was a councilmember for eight years. Like Marine, he was elected in 2005 and re-elected to serve a second term in 2009. Ted Wheeler will fill Position 1, left open by Stoltz’s decision to retire.
“I am lucky to have worked with all of them,” Council President Randy Lord said. “I am absolutely proud of all the things this council, this staff, this mayor, this administration has done at least in the [last] eight years.
Out of the mayor’s office, Marine said he may get back into selling insurance, but he’s also looking into working for another municipality, perhaps as a city administrator. Wherever he ends up, he hopes to stay in Mukilteo.
He will continue to serve the city as a member of the Mukilteo-South Everett Rotary Club and Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce. He also wants to join the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Association.
Out of town for the reception, Gregerson thanked the outgoing mayor and councilmembers for their service in a letter read aloud. In it, she wished Marine the best in the future.
“I’ve gotten to know your staff a bit better, in a new way, in the last month,” Gregerson wrote. “I appreciate what great people you picked, your spirit and energy as mayor, and the great things they have to say about you.”
Now that he won’t be on council, Emery said he’ll have more time for family, photography, playing guitar and reading.
“Serving on the council, and having the opportunity to serve with dedicated, knowledgeable and competent city staff, the mayor, and fellow councilmembers, has been a privilege and a pleasure,” Emery said.
His accomplishments include voting to replace the community center, save Japanese Gulch as parkland, and improve the intersection at Front Street and the Mukilteo Speedway for both pedestrians and cars.
In May, Stoltz announced he would not run for a third term. After two terms, he was tired of what he said was an apparent 5-2 voting block on the council.
“The council had become a ‘rubber stamp’ and it was becoming increasingly difficult to do anything unless it was already part of the mayor’s agenda,” Stoltz said. “The council decision making process had become toxic.”
His accomplishments as a councilmember include aiding in the creation of the Japanese Gulch trail between 5th Street and Mukilteo Lane, the Mukilteo dog park and Waterfront Wednesdays.
Stoltz said he’ll now have more time to devote to his two businesses – and maybe start up another one or two – and to helping the unlimited hydroplane team he’s on defend their national and world championship title. He also wants to fly planes again.
Gregerson wrote that Stoltz first inspired her to get into Mukilteo politics. She waved signs for his campaign for election to the council back in 2001.
“I’m so glad I got a chance to serve with you, to disagree, to agree, and to appreciate what you brought to your service to the city,” she wrote. “You’re such a smart, honorable guy. Mukilteo is lucky to have had you.”