Special ceremony celebrates retiring councilmembers’ service

After years of serving Mukilteo, Randy Lord and Ted Wheeler are retiring from the council.
By Brandon Gustafson | Dec 06, 2017
Photo by: Brandon Gustafson Councilmembers Randy Lord and Ted Wheeler holding trophies awarded to them by the city for their years of service on the council.

Council meetings starting in 2018 will be without two familiar faces as councilmembers Randy Lord and Ted Wheeler are retiring from their positions after 2017.

A special ceremony honoring the two councilmembers for their years of service took place before Monday’s council meeting.

“I really love this town,” Lord said. “I wouldn’t serve as much as I did if I didn’t. My family was all about serving. My dad was in the Air Force, and I’ve served in my own way.”

Lord, who currently holds Position 3 on the council, has served on the council since his election in 2006 and started his public service with Little League, schools and the Parks and Arts Commission, which he served on for 12 years. He also served as the council president periodically during his time with the council.

“This really all started when I was pulled into the park board,” Lord said. “Halfway through that I was chaperoning for the Kamiak band kids and former Mayor Brian Sullivan looked at me from 20 feet away and said, ‘That’s our next city councilmember,’ and I thought, ‘What did I do to irritate you? I’m not ready for this!’”

Lord went on to say he is incredibly thankful for the city’s staff who have helped him during his time on the council.

Lord passed the baton of his role in office, both literally and figuratively, to his successor, Sarah Kneller.

“I found this ancient baton that I made last week,” Lord said while handing a baton to Kneller, and prompting a lot of laughter from those in attendance.

The baton had the Washington State University logo as both Lord and Kneller graduated from the university, as well as “Muk 3” representing the seat she will soon hold.

“My wife and I are both retired, and we plan on doing a whole lot of traveling, playing and just being with our grandkids.”

Wheeler, sporting a long white beard and an appropriate Santa hat to match, echoed the thoughts of Lord in regards to his love of the city.

“This is a great city,” Wheeler said. “I’ve been here for 17, 18 years now, and I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve seen a lot of growth … I didn’t realize that the people we have in this city have the hearts that they have.”

Wheeler was elected to the council in 2013, beginning his term in 2014, and has been a member of the Parks and Arts Commission and the Long Range Financial Planning Committee, in addition to helping with the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Association and the Japanese Gulch Group.

Starting in January, Wheeler’s seat will be filled by Anna Rohrbough.

“The last four years have been good,” Wheeler said. “And Anna, she will do a great job for me.”

Wheeler went on to thank all the elected officials he has worked with during his time in office, and gave an update on his plans for the future.

“I’m not far from retirement now,” Wheeler said. “I’m getting ready to sell the business, and we have a bunch of things in mind … my wife doesn’t have a ‘honey do’ list, she has a ‘honey do’ scroll, that keeps rolling off and adding on … we have a lot of mission work that we have lined up for us, and I look forward to it. And the five grandkids.”

Before ending his speech, Wheeler set a challenge for next year’s council.

“The councilmembers that we have working for us right now, at least for the next two to four years,” Wheeler said. “You’ve got your work cut out for you. There are budgets to be balanced, and there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be done and not a lot of money to do it.”

Kneller and Rohrbough will succeed Lord and Wheeler at the beginning of 2018.

 

 

Councilmember Randy Lord getting ready to “pass the baton” to his successor Sarah Kneller. The baton said “Muk 3” and had the Washington State University logo, as both Lord and Kneller graduated from the university. (Photo by: Brandon Gustafson)
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