Five Spokane Valley city officials on Tuesday evening will take the oath of office to form a new council that is expected to be more moderate.
Newly-elected council members Ben Wick, Linda Thompson and Brandi Peetz, who defeated more conservative incumbents, will be sworn in at the same time as Mayor Rod Higgins and Councilwoman Pam Haley, who both won re-election in November.
Wick will take his seat on the council for the first time Tuesday evening since winning the election against Ed Pace. Peetz and Thompson were sworn in for the first time in late November because they took over from council members who were appointed, not elected, to their seats.
The weekly council meeting will follow the ceremony, and at that time council members will cast votes to elect a mayor and deputy mayor.
It’s unclear if Higgins has enough support to retain his position as mayor.
The role of mayor in Spokane Valley is mainly ceremonial. But, it also includes presiding over council meetings.
Higgins, who won re-election by a narrow margin, was appointed to the City Council to fill a vacated seat in 2013. Later that year, he was elected to a four-year term.
Council members selected Higgins to serve as mayor in 2016.
Higgins told The Spokesman-Review in November the construction of Spokane Valley’s new City Hall during his first mayoral term was a major accomplishment because it will save the city $8 million over 30 years compared with leasing the former city hall.
The oath of office ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held in the council chambers at 5 p.m. at Spokane Valley City Hall, 12310 E Sprague Ave.
All the new council members will serve four-year terms except Peetz, who was elected to complete a vacated term that ends Dec. 31, 2019.