City council says goodbye to member, adopts budget

Government: Derek Young ends a 16-year tenure on council

of the GatewayNovember 27, 2013 

The Gig Harbor City Council celebrated council member Derek Young’s 16 years of service at its meeting Monday night.

City employees and officials, as well as other community members, visited with Young prior to the meeting during a coffee and cookie celebration. Young was first elected in 1998.

During the meeting, council members reflected on Young’s service. Mayor Chuck Hunter presented Young with a plaque to commemorate his years on the council. Young chose not to run for re-election this fall, and Casey Arbenz was elected in his seat.

Even though the two were sometimes “bumping heads,” Hunter said he’s learned Young is full of great ideas.

“I’ve grown over the last 16 years to really rely on his council,” said council member Steve Ekberg, who has known Young since Young was in fifth grade.

All of the council members shared their appreciation for Young’s service, particularly his work with Pierce Transit. Young served on the transit board this past year as the representative for small cities and towns.

The Gig Harbor City Council also approved the budget for next year, as well as the Shoreline Master Plan update at its Monday night meeting.

Council member Jill Guersney gave a special presentation before the adoption of the Shoreline Master Plan. The book that is five years in the making is dedicated to the late Michael Fisher, a member of the planning commission.

Guernsey said Fisher was dedicated in his service to the city and the community. His widow, Judy, was on hand to receive a copy of the plan from the council.

“Thanks for honoring his name,” Judy Fisher said. “He loved Gig Harbor.”

After the presentation, the council discussed the Shoreline Master Plan, which was first read at the council meeting earlier this month. It passed 5-2, with Ken Malich and Michael Perrow in dissent.

Perrow criticized the “blanket approach that boils down to the lowest common denominator.”

The Shoreline Master Program dictates that each shoreline city, like Gig Harbor, must have a master plan. While Perrow appreciated the work the planning department has performed, he did not vote to approve the plan.

Malich said he is worried about parking requirements in the Milville district downtown. He asked for an amendment to the plan to change parking requirements and therefore prevent more building, in his prediction, but there was no second for his motion.

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