Langley looks into economic alliance with Leadership Snohomish County

Finding the next generation of Langley’s leaders may be a 20-year process.

Sarri Gelman, a South Whidbey resident, pitched a partnership with her organization, Leadership Snohomish County, that would help groom civic organizers and business leaders in the years to come.

During Langley City Council’s meeting July 15, Gelman told the council it was an opportunity to discover and develop people for community stewardship. In her experience as the program’s part-time executive director, Gelman said she watched people enter the program with expectations on how to change their community, realize how connected each aspect of a region are and network to make positive changes.

“We work over 20 years developing a pipeline,” Gelman said.

The pitch caught city council’s attention and that of Mayor Fred McCarthy, though not without a short reminder that the public comment period is not the appropriate time for a presentation. Gelman’s pitch lasted about 20 minutes, 15 minutes longer than the recommended public comment period.

“People should take time to consider it,” said McCarthy.

The importance of examining the partnership in a timely manner, however, was not lost on the mayor.

“As you look around the table, we’re getting up there,” he said.

Each member of the leadership council must pay a $2,150 fee that can be sponsored by a business or governmental agency. The next cohort begins its 20-year development Sept. 26.

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