Dudley, Oak Harbor City Council sworn in

Mayor Scott Dudley and City Council members Tara Hizon, Beth Munns and Rick Almberg were sworn in Wednesday.  - Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times
Mayor Scott Dudley and City Council members Tara Hizon, Beth Munns and Rick Almberg were sworn in Wednesday.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

Scott Dudley officially became Oak Harbor’s new mayor Wednesday when he was sworn in during a quiet proceeding at City Hall.

With little ceremony or pomp, Dudley took his oath of office in a barren city council chambers before a crowd of just two city employees and City Clerk Connie Wheeler, the official who administered the oath.

Raising his right hand, Dudley swore to support the Constitutions and laws of the United States and Washington and the ordinances of the city. He also promised “to the best of my judgement, skill and ability, truly and faithfully, diligently and impartially,” perform his duties as mayor.

Dudley said later he is not taking his new position lightly and will not forget who he’s working for. He said his hope is to make his supporters proud and earn the trust of those who advocated for ousted Mayor Jim Slowik.

“My goal is to not let the citizens of Oak Harbor down,” Dudley said.

He also made clear that he plans to waste no time in rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. Beginning with the very first city council meeting next week Tuesday, Jan. 3, Dudley plans to follow through with some of his promised agenda.

Planned as a discussion item only, the fledgling mayor said he will address several issues concerning the city’s standing committee meetings. Dudley said he wants feedback about changing the meeting times and locations.

Three of the four committees meet at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and two are at locations away from City Hall. Dudley says they should all be at the same place and held at times more convenient to the public. He also wants to discuss video taping all of the meetings.

Dudley is hoping for a positive response but said he won’t be deterred with one of the issues if there is resistance. The city council sets committee time and locations but taping meetings can be paid for out of the mayor’s budget, which leaves the decision up to him, he said.

“We will be televising (committee meetings),” he said.

Also sworn in Wednesday with similar oaths of office were Beth Munns, Rick Almberg and Tara Hizon. Munns and Almberg are beginning their second four-year terms after running successful re-election campaigns this past November while Hizon is taking a seat on the city council for the first time.

She replaces Jim Palmer, who decided not to run for personal reasons.

Hizon said she was overwhelmed with the confidence expressed by voters during the election and continues to be awed by the reception and encouragement she receives from people around town.

“I’m just really excited to serve,” Hizon said.

She also plans to dive into her new position, investigating technologies that will improve the city’s communication with the public and by advocating for the city’s youth. She may serve as the city council’s liaison to the Oak Harbor School Board and on the Government Services and Public Safety standing committees.

Almberg said he will strive to balance a tight budget with the needs of the public and is eager to get to work on the planned wastewater treatment plant. He wants to serve the whole community as well, including both those who voted for him and those who did not.

“I’ll do my best to represent all of the people,” Almberg said.

Finally, Munns said she is looking forward to working on the city’s new sewer treatment plant too, along with other needed infrastructure projects. She said she also hopes to “win over those who didn’t vote for me.”

A ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Dudley, Munns and Hizon will be held at next Tuesday’s city council meeting. Almberg will not be there as he will be away on a pre-excused absence.


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