Federal Way City Council member Linda Kochmar was elected unanimously Tuesday night as Federal Way’s last mayor under the current council-manager form of government.
Kochmar also started her 13th year on the council Tuesday night.
“I waited so long for this I thought I’d get hit by a car on the way here,” Kochmar quipped after being selected mayor for the first time.
Kochmar is expected to serve as mayor until about Dec. 1. That’s when the new strong elected mayor to be chosen by voters Nov. 2 is expected to take office.
The City Council elected Kochmar by a vote of 7-0. Council member Dini Duclos was unanimously elected deputy mayor.
Kochmar, 65, works as risk manager/program administrator for the Lakehaven Utility District in Federal Way. She is chairwoman of the public issues committee for the Suburban Cities Association, which represents 37 King County cities.
The council-elected mayor normally holds office for two years in a largely ceremonial role. But this last appointed mayor will preside over what is likely to be a busy 11 months preparing for the change in form of governments.
The City Council started discussing some of those issues at a special meeting prior to Tuesday night’s regular session. They included the authority and duties of an elected mayor and whether to create the position of a city administrator.
“We will do the best that we can for you to make a smooth transition to the new form of government,” Kochmar told the crowd at the packed regular meeting.
Federal Way, the state’s eighth-largest city with a population of 88,580, has had a council-manager form of government since the city incorporated in 1990. Federal Way voters narrowly approved changing to a strong elected mayor in November.
So far, council member Jim Ferrell is the only declared candidate for strong mayor. Two other council members, Jack Dovey and Mike Park, have said they are considering running for strong mayor.
As for herself, Kochmar said during an interview, “I don’t know.”