It’s official: Molly Coston is the mayor of Washougal — again.
Although elected by voters in 2017 to lead the city, Coston’s fate as mayor was up in the air after voters decided in November to change Washougal’s form of government from “strong mayor” to “strong council,” meaning city councilors would appoint a ceremonial mayor and a city manager would run Washougal’s day-to-day business.
The city transitioned to the new form of government, which gives more power to the Washougal City Council and has newly appointed City Manager David Scott overseeing the city daily business, on Nov. 27.
Coston said she felt “in limbo” during the transition time, as the city councilors could have appointed another city councilor to be the city’s mayor.
Coston’s “limbo” came to an end this week, after Washougal City Councilman Brent Boger nominated her as the city’s new mayor, several councilors seconded his nomination and the council voted unanimously to appoint Coston as the official mayor at the council’s regular meeting Dec. 3.
Under the new “strong council” form of government, the city council will continue with eight members until the expiration of Coston’s original mayoral term in December 2021.
After Coston’s term expires, the council will revert to seven members. The council will designate one of its members to hold the position of mayor, and that person would chair council meetings and represent the city at ceremonial occasions.
In the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election, 3,375 (54.53 percent) of the participating Washougal voters approved the adoption of the council-manager or “strong council” form of government, while 2,814 voters (45.47 percent) voted against it.
Coston was elected mayor in November 2017, having beat opponent Dan Coursey in the general election, and replaced two-time mayor Sean Guard, who dropped out of the primary mayoral race in May 2017, after news broke that police were investigating him for sexual misconduct.