Liam Olsen and Jeanne Zornes are now the mayor and deputy mayor of Bothell, respectively.
Olsen is succeeding Mayor Andy Rheaume, who concluded his tenure in late 2019. Olsen and Zornes will concurrently hold their new roles for the next two years.
Incumbent councilmembers Davina Duerr and James McNeal and the recently elected Mason Thompson were sworn in before the mayoral appointments at the Jan. 7 council meeting, which was the first meeting of the year.
The city of Bothell operates under the council-manager form of government, which entails that council appoint the mayor and deputy mayor.
During the meeting, city clerk Laura Hathaway clarified that each member of the council is permitted to nominate one person and nominations are not required to be seconded.
Multiple nominees require a ballot vote. Those nominated can rescind their nomination.
Both positions had several candidates. For mayor, Olsen was nominated by Duerr, Tom Agnew by Rosemary McAuliffe and McNeal by Agnew.
“I’ve known Councilmember Olsen for over 10 years…I’ve known him to be unflappable, thoughtful, a good listener and humble, and I think he’d make an amazing mayor,” Duerr said of her selection.
“I’ve heard from many community members who have requested that Tom Agnew be our next mayor,” McAuliffe said. “They are interested in his community work. There is a need for us to connect to many organizations, and when there are chamber of commerces and business communities — we need someone out there who has the time to attend those meetings and bring those people to the business of the city so that they know that actively, we’re concerned about them, that we have people there to help them. He can do that outreach.”
McNeal voiced his gratitude for the nomination but ultimately rejected it, lending his support to Agnew instead.
Olsen ultimately won in a 4-3 vote.
“I’m very honored,” Olsen said. “I’ll work my hardest; I’ll serve my community the best I can. It’s a great privilege to be able to do this.”
Like the mayoral position, there were three nominees for deputy mayor: Zornes, Agnew and McNeal. The latter, who was nominated by McAuliffe, also rejected the nomination, stating that he was supporting Agnew in the position for the same reasons he did for mayor.
New councilmember Thompson nominated Zornes, highlighting her commitment to the city.
“I have been continually impressed with [Zornes’] dedication to Bothell and the community,” Thompson said. “She works hard, she actively listens to the community and she’s always gracious. She considers other ideas even when they conflict with her own.”
Zornes garnered the seat in a 4-3 vote.
Although McNeal rejected his nomination, McAuliffe still voted for him. The two councilmembers who did not vote for Zornes voted for Agnew.
“I’m sitting here shaking like a leaf, because each one of you guys are phenomenal,” said Zornes after her appointment was confirmed. “You are the face of Bothell, and we’ve come so far. I’m really excited about the next couple of years.”
To watch the councilmember swear-in process and the mayoral appointments, watch the Jan. 7 council meeting at bit.ly/2T7rKWG.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated which councilmembers were nominated for mayor and by whom. Liam Olsen was nominated by Davina Duerr; Tom Agnew was nominated by Rosemary McAuliffe and James McNeal was nominated by Agnew. The vote count for deputy mayor has also been clarified to reflect McAuliffe’s vote.