Michelle DeWitt has been appointed to the final open seat on the Bethel City Council. There were five applicants for the one-year term, which became vacant when Carole Jung-Jordan resigned last month. DeWitt currently works at the Bethel Community Services Foundation. She called into last night’s council meeting to make her opening statement.
“I care deeply about Bethel, and I want to contribute to stable governance and sound decision making to ensure that this community is on a positive trajectory,” DeWitt said.
Before selecting DeWitt, council members asked the five candidates some questions. Newly elected council members answered some of the same questions themselves a month earlier at the candidate forum.
“What do you see as one of the greatest challenges facing the city of Bethel right now?” asked Alyssa Gustafson-Leary.
Candidate Jon Cochrane answered affordable housing. For Courtney Trammell, it was access to public utilities. Rick Garcia wanted economic development in Bethel, and Joni Beckham similarly talked about generating new revenue for the city. Dewitt said that the greatest challenge was dealing with the shrinking state budget.
Council member Mark Springer commented on the strength of the candidate pool. He noted that each candidate was a member of a city committee or commission.
“And hopefully we’ll see some of your names on the ballot a year from now,” Springer said.
The council nominated two candidates: Michelle DeWitt and Courtney Trammell. DeWitt was appointed after a 4-1 vote; Mark Springer cast the lone vote for Trammell.