Itemizer-Observer

MONMOUTH — Laurel Sharmer said Dec. 5 she likes the look of the Monmouth City Council as she leaves the council after four years.

“Four years ago, when I first took my seat on the dais, it was me and 13 white men in the room, and now just four little short years later, we have a woman mayor, half the council is women, two of the council members are Latinx, and we have a woman city manager and finance director and all the other good stuff,” Sharmer said.

The council welcomed new councilors John Oberst, Rebecca Salinas-Oliveros and Carol McKiel Jan. 5 while saying goodbye to departing councilors Sharmer, Byron Shinkle and Darin Silbernagel. Shinkle had served since 2017 and Silbernagel since 2009.

Mayor Cec Koontz started a second two-year term last week, and Councilor Jon Kerry was voted in as council president.

Councilor Chris Lopez praised democracy as practiced in Monmouth.

“While there those in this world who hold that proclaiming greatness makes us great, I hold that in reality our greatness is rooted in our system of self-governance with a built-in ability to grow and change with the demands of the age,” he said.

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