The Sammamish City Council will start the new year tonight with two new council members.
The council holds its first meeting of 2012 this evening, Jan. 3, at 6:30 p.m., and will swear in the two newly elected council members, and .
The council will also elect this year's mayor and deputy mayor, positions which have most recently been held by Don Gerend and Tom Odell, respectively. n Sammamish, the Deputy Mayor is elected for a one-year term. The Mayor's term is for two years.
Vance replaces in Position No. 6, and Valderrama replaces in Position No. 4. In the recent election, Whitten and ran for and won Position No. 2, which was vacated by longtime councilwoman .
At the last council meeting of the 2011, the city thanked Petitti, who served on the council for 10 years, and Cross, who served four years as a councilman. Neither sought re-election for 2012.
Petitti said it was with "mixed emotions" that she moved from the councilmember side of the podium back to the public side.
"Looking back, we've accomplished so much," she said. "It feels like sending my kid off to college."
Cross took the opportunity to thank city staff members Kamuron Gurol, Sammamish director of community development, and Sammamish City Manager Ben Yazici for their "high level policy analysis."
"That's what's made this a great city," he said. "We've been clever and conservative with our money.
Yazici praised both Petitti and Cross for turning their passion for the community into service.
"You both came to the council as community activists. How wonderfully and quickly you have both transformed into great policy makers," Yazici said.