An audience of 13 sat in on the April 15 meeting of the Centralia Board of Aldermen.
Many were there to see the changing of the guard as outgoing mayor Tim Grenke attended to his final duties before the swearing in of new mayor Chris Cox. Grenke had served the city as mayor for 10 consecutive years, along with a previous 1.5 years, interrupted by his military deployment to Kosovo.
He opened the meeting by appointing Alan Baca to the library board. Ward 1’s Don Bormann contested Grenke’s action. “Shouldn’t we let the new mayor do that?” Grenke explained he had been working with the library board to select the best of three candidates and since the library board had authorized him to make the appointment and submit it to the board of aldermen, he thought it was appropriate. Nobody else in the room disagreed.
Outgoing Ward III Alderman Jim Lee was given a service award from Grenke for his six years of service. Grenke complimented him on his work as mayor pro-tem and chairman of the public works and public utilities committee, as well as work with the tree board.
Grenke receive a plaque from City Administrator Heather Russell, recognizing his service as mayor since 2009. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for Centralia.”
Grenke thanked her and spoke for a moment before leaving the podium.
“It’s been an honor to serve as, mayor, and with the support of several boards of aldermen,” Grenke said. it’s been a fun time. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned a lot about how a city runs. It’s not like a normal business, it is a government business. Things tend to move at the speed of government, which is not always fast,” he said chuckling. “So, I will always be part of Centralia. Everything I’ve done for Centralia, I’ve done from the heart and for the community as a whole. I appreciate the opportunity to serve, very much.”
With that he led the board through the certification of election results which showed him losing to Cox, 382 votes to 372.
For the rest of the story see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.