On August 11th, Snoqualmie Council Member Sean Sundwall announced his resignation from the City Council effective August 30th, 2021.
At the September 13th Council meeting, Mayor Larson told Sundwall that he and many staff members “Thoroughly enjoyed working with you, and I appreciate your dedication and service to the city and citizens of Snoqualmie.”
Larson noted that being a council member is not always rewarding work but that he’s always appreciated Sundwall’s good sense of humor, attention to detail, and the quality he brought that kept the council focused on the big stuff and kept things moving along.
The mayor then extended a warm thank you and appreciation for Sundwall’s service to the city with a Service Recognition plaque commemorating his four years with the council.
Former Council Member Sundwall then expressed his gratitude and thanked the mayor for his kind words.
The former council member noted he does not consider himself a politician saying, “I’m just sort of a regular guy who is just crazy enough to believe that it is the decisions of local, not the federal government that have the greatest impact on our day to day lives even though sometimes it may not seem like that right now.”
Sundwall went on to say that belief is why he joined the council four and a half years ago. He wanted to help make life a little better for the community that helped him raise his four amazing children over the last fifteen years.
He noted as he looks back on the things the council has accomplished together, “I’m proud to have been a small part of moving our community forward while maintaining what I believe to be its quintessential uniqueness.”
Sundwall believes the community is a better place for the council, having rejected the Snoqualmie Hills West proposal saying he believes someday a more suitable proposal that fits the community will come forward.
The ex-council member also believes the community is safer for pedestrians who want to cross the parkway to play at Fisher Creek Park or Railroad Avenue to dine or shop at local businesses. In addition, he notes traffic off the ridge in the morning is better due to the dedicated on-ramp and will only improve in the coming years when the divergent diamond is completed.
In addition, Sundwall noted, “Our community is a better place because we as a council gave every single penny of the cares act to local businesses rather than do what most cities did and spend it on city services.” He said this council made all these and many more things happen.
Sundwall’s noted his one regret was not being able to help deliver a community pool to Snoqualmie. He noted he and a few others worked very hard towards that goal in 2020, but Covid came and caused financial disruptions that could not be overcome. He hopes the council will continue to pursue the project, which has broad support from residents.
He ended by thanking a few people, Mayor Larson for, “Not only his support and encouragement of me but for guiding our city through historic growth.” Say he believes that no one person is more responsible for the awesomeness of the community than Matt is. He went on to say he hopes the community names something after him. Perhaps the Matt Larson aquatic center.
Sundwall also thanked the city staff for their “relentless patience and sometimes thankless service for a great city.” The council, including his neighbor Kathy Pruitt who was his mentor when he started, and James Mayhew, who he calls a dear and supportive friend. Lastly, he thanked the voters who twice voted to keep him on the council, saying their support was “overwhelming and appreciated.”
He ended his statement with two pieces of advice for his successor: to be curious, stay curious, and ask lots of questions. And two to ignore the pitchfork and torches crowd on social media, saying, “they don’t represent who you represent.”
When Living Snoqualmie asked why he decided to resign before the end of his term, Sundwall replied, “I put four years in on the council…..I have a lot of other things I want to pursue in life, which includes focusing on my local business.”
On September 16th, 2021, a special meeting of the Snoqualmie City Council was held to interview applicants to fill Council Members Sundwall seat until the end of his term in November 2023.
The City Council interviewed the following candidates for the vacant Council Position 6:
- Greg Balmer
- Rob Wotton
- Catherine Cotton
- Cara Christensen
- Bryan Carlisle
- Jeff Mihal
The candidates were asked three standard questions, limited to two-minute responses. Three follow-up questions, with a two-minute limit, were asked by Councilmembers. All six candidates were moved forward for consideration.