Four newly-elected Yakima City Council members and three returning incumbents will be officially sworn in during a special Council meeting on Wednesday, December 9th at 1:00 pm. The special meeting will take place in the City Council Chambers at Yakima City Hall.
Dulce Gutiérrez, Avina Gutiérrez, Carmen Méndez, and Holly Cousens, the four newly-elected Council members, along with returning incumbents Bill Lover, Kathy Coffey, and Maureen Adkison will be sworn in during the December 9th special meeting but won’t officially begin their terms until January 1st.
Council members are typically sworn in at the first business meeting of the new year following a general election. The first Yakima City Council business meeting of 2016 is scheduled to take place on January 5th.
The earlier-than-usual swearing in became necessary because of a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice in February of this year requiring all seven Council seats be up for election during the 2015 election cycle. As a result, the terms of all current Council members expire at the end of the year.
Because the terms of all seven current Council members expire on December 31st, if a circumstance were to arise that required Council action to be taken between January 1st and the first Council business meeting of the year (January 5th), technically no sitting Council would be in place and, therefore, no action could be taken. That potential conflict will be alleviated by swearing in the four newly-elected Council members and the three returning incumbents on December 9th so that a full seven-member Council will be seated as of January 1st.
Yakima City Council Members Swearing In – News Release