Ridgefield residents have a new mayor guiding the city. Council member Jennifer Lindsay was unanimously elected as mayor by the city council Thursday. Lindsay will serve as mayor for two years.
Lindsay was appointed to the council in 2018 to fill a vacancy. She was elected to Position 6 in 2019 and reelected in November with 76.7 percent of votes cast. She served on the city’s planning commission from 2016 to 2018.
Since moving to Ridgefield 12 years ago, Lindsay has volunteered with Union Ridge PTO, Ridgefield Boosters, the Fourth of July Committee and Ridgefield Lions.
“It’s a privilege to be mayor, in my opinion, of the greatest city in the state of Washington. I look forward to working with this talented and dedicated council for the betterment of our community,” Lindsay said following the vote.
In a press release from the city Friday, Lindsay recognized Ridgefield’s continuing growth, which will bring opportunities and challenges.
“It will be a challenge to keep our community connected as we grow, maintaining our community’s small town charm,” she said in the release. “We will need to focus on improving public engagement, make more information accessible to residents and offer additional avenues for residents to provide opinions and feedback.”
Although she was ill and unable to attend the council meeting in person, Lindsay joined the meeting remotely.
“I take the leadership responsibilities associated with mayor very seriously, and one of those responsibilities is leading by example and taking into account the well-being of those around me,” she said.
Lindsay also commended city staff for responding and adapting to the many changes resulting from the “COVID-19 curveball.”
Council member Rob Aichele was unanimously elected by the council to serve as mayor pro tem.
Aichele was appointed to the city planning commission in 2019 and was elected to the council in 2020.
“I appreciate the council vote of support and look forward to working with all council members and our new mayor as we start the new year. I have listened and I have grown as a councilor over the last two years. And I am committed as ever to keep Ridgefield, in my humble opinion, the best city to live, work and play,” Aichele told the council.
Lindsay succeeds Don Stose, who announced on Jan. 6 that he was stepping down from the council at the end of the month to spend more time with his family.
Stose, who was first elected to the council in 2008, most recently was reelected in November after running unopposed.
In other business, the council approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Ridgefield Police Officers Association. The current agreement expired Dec. 31.
Operational issues that were discussed and resolved in the agreement include modified shift schedules to minimize officer fatigue and provide maximum service during high call load times; creation of a detective assignment to better focus on comprehensive and detailed investigations; and modified schedules and procedures to allow for two new officer positions and promotion of two additional sergeants in 2022. The agreement includes salary increases of 2.1 percent to 4 percent in January 2022, 4 percent in January 2023 and 5 percent in January 2024.