Four newly elected city council members were officially sworn in during the Bellevue City council meeting on Dec. 8.
Judge Lisa O’Toole administered the oaths.
John Stokes (Pos. 1), Jeremy Barksdale (Pos. 3), Janice Zahn (Pos. 5) and Jennifer Robertson (Pos. 7) all were sworn in during the elected officials swearing-in ceremony. Barksdale will take office on Jan. 1, after Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak’s term expires.
The meeting also marked the last for Chelminiak, who is retiring after 16 yeas on the council.
The council honored Chelminiak for his years of service to the city and for the contributions he’s made for the future of Bellevue. The council presented him with a commendation, a plaque and his own street sign. Councilmember Lee Conrad read the commendation.
“His leadership and dedication to public service offer examples for others to emulate and highlights the difference one person can make,” he said.
Councilmember Jennifer Robertson said Chelminiak’s steadfast leadership for the past 16 years has been “awesome.”
Current Deputy Mayor Lynne Robinson commented on Chelminiak’s leadership.
“You’re an outstanding leader because you’re trustworthy and true to your word,” she said. “If you say you’re going to support something, you are unwavering. You’ve been strong and reliable on the council and in the community.”
Chelminiak joined Bellevue’s planning commission in 2002, then ran for and was elected to the city council in 2004. He served two stints as deputy mayor in 2006 and again in 2016, before being elected mayor by his colleagues in 2018.
“We’ve dealt with some thorny issues, a lot of important issues, [and we’ve] celebrated,” Chelminiak said. “But the best thing in my mind, is when you get to the end of it and seven people say, ‘This is what I wanted to do.’ Everyone has ownership in moving forward… thank you very much. I really appreciate everything.”