Newly elected Bremerton City Councilmember Mike Simpson was sworn into his elected position during a Jan. 2 city council meeting, along with Councilmembers Lori Wheat and Leslie Daugs who were both recently re-elected to another four-year term.
Simpson takes over the District 6 position that was previously held by Richard Huddy for the last four years. Huddy participated in his final council meeting in December. Wheat will serve District 4 once again and Daugs will serve District 2 in her fourth term. All three will serve four-year terms through 2023.
“I’d like to congratulate my fellow council members,” Simpson said in his first council report. “I’d also like to thank the neighbors who took the time to vote and get someone to represent them. I appreciate that, it’s a solemn duty.”
“First of all, congratulations to the council members who have earned their positions on the council instead of being appointed,” former Bremerton City Councilman Roy Runyon said during the public comment period of the meeting. “Thank you, Mike Simpson, for stepping up and representing District 6. I look forward to a little bit more balance on the council.”
After the three council members were officially sworn in, the meeting was underway, starting with appointing a new council president and vice president. District 7 Councilmember Eric Younger was re-elected for the fifth consecutive year as council president with a vote of 5-2. Younger, along with councilmembers Michael Goodnow, Kevin Gorman, Pat Sullivan, and Simpson all voted for Younger. Daugs, along with Wheat voted for Daugs.
Councilmember Gorman was elected for the first time to the council vice president position with a vote of 5-2 as well. Gorman, along with Younger, Simpson, Goodnow, and Sullivan, voted for Gorman. Daugs, along with Wheat voted for Daugs to be re-elected as council vice president. Daugs served as council vice president in 2019.
“I really appreciate the support from everyone and I look forward to working with all of you in 2020 and I hope that we’ll have a lot of good discussions in the future,” Gorman said during his council report. “Thank you to Leslie Daugs as well. Thanks for your service, I appreciate it.”
“I also wish to express my appreciation for our outgoing vice president Leslie Daugs,” Younger said. “Thank you Leslie for your service as vice president.”
Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler also addressed the elected councilmembers and the newly appointed council president and vice president during his mayor’s report.
“I think that what you’ve earned is the greatest honor any of us could hope to have, and that’s serving an elected office, especially here in the city of Bremerton. I really look forward to working with all of you in the upcoming year.”
“The thing that’s going to set Bremerton apart, and always has and I believe always will, is we are civil with our discourse and we are civil with how we entrust the democratic process to just play out,” Wheeler went on to say. “I know we’ll go forward having robust discussions not agreeing on everything, but at the end, honoring the wishes of the whole.”
After the council president and vice president for 2020 were appointed, Wheat appeared displeased with the lack of new leadership to the council president position.
“In all due respect, I really hope that next year we will support some fresh quality leadership for the council president position,” she said during her council report. “I very much thank council president Younger, for now, his fifth year of service as council president. I really think holding that position — one person — regardless of who it is, for five consecutive years, is just too much power being concentrated in one person and that’s not optimal for our community.”