Chaplin bids adieu to mayorship

A canceled city council meeting deprived the mayor of Langley the chance to officially bid farewell.

A canceled city council meeting this week deprived Langley Mayor Scott Chaplin the chance to officially bid farewell.

Due to a lack of quorum of council members, the Nov. 20 meeting was called off mere minutes before it was supposed to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Chaplin, who was appointed as mayor in 2021, is preparing to step down from the role. He opted not to run for election for the position this year. Kennedy Horstman, who earned nearly 79% of the vote in the Nov. 7 election, will be sworn in as the new mayor at a special city council meeting that is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The results of the election are expected to be certified that day.

In a memo that was supposed to be presented at the Nov. 20 meeting, Chaplin pointed to some positive changes he helped make to the city, including improved relations with leaders of the Snohomish Tribe of Indians and the Tulalip Tribes. He urged the council to support the momentum he has generated so far to update the city’s record-keeping systems, most notably in clearing out all city documents and surplus items from the basement of the Langley Library so the Sno-Isle Libraries can move forward with renovation plans.

“I believe that 2023 and 2024 will be seen as a major turning point for the city as we make a great leap forward with our financial management system and practices, our records keeping system and practices, and our efforts to address the challenges of both housing and climate change in a rapid and equitable manner,” Chaplin wrote.

During his brief tenure, Chaplin hired a number of city staff members, including Planning Director Meredith Penny, Police Chief Tavier Wasser, Finance Director Wanda Grone and City Administrator Mark Rentfrow. At a surprise luncheon thrown for him on Nov. 15, Chaplin thanked them all for their service.

“I kept the promises that I made in the interview when the city council selected me: that I would make mistakes and be a bit curt at times,” Chaplin said as part of a press release. “Apart from that, I was able to achieve about 1/2 of the goals I wanted to achieve – so I guess I’m satisfied that I was able to bat 500.”

Chaplin added that he is confident that the new administration will be able to handle the ever-increasing challenges of running a small-town government, and he pledges to support them to the best of his ability moving forward.