Son secretly orchestrates city honor of his mother

By Chris Hendrickson, Monitor
Councilman Tom Williams, serving as mayor pro tem in Mayor Zimmerman's absence, read a proclamation declaring June 18 as Cheri Phillips Day.
Phillips was honored for serving the citizens of Monroe as a long-time employee of Safeway.
"GǪthe City of Monroe recognizes and honors Cheri Phillips for her 33 years of dedication and loyal service to the citizens of Monroe, Washington,Gǥ read Williams.
The proclamation stated that Phillips has been a "friendly face faithfully serving customersGÇ¥ and explained that Phillips is known for her service to the community.
"GǪshe has willingly gone the extra mile for customers and coworkers,Gǥ stated the proclamation.
Williams presented Phillips with a framed certificate.
"Thank you for this honor,GÇ¥ said Phillips as she accepted the award.
The proclamation was secretly orchestrated by her son, Joel Phillips. Cheri Phillips later explained that she had no idea why he asked her to attend the city council meeting that night.
"He told me "there's something that needs to be addressed at the city council and I need you to be there for support,'GÇ¥ said Phillips.
Joel Phillips had attended city council meetings in the past, and even ran for a seat on the council in 2011, so his request didn't come completely out of left field.
Phillips and her husband were slightly hesitant about attending the meeting, but told their son they would be there. Once they arrived, her son gave her a copy of the agenda. When she saw item number three, the Proclamation of Cheri Phillips Day, she was completely stunned, never in her wildest dreams expecting such an honor.
"I was totally speechless,GÇ¥ said Phillips. "I couldn't say anything for at least five minutes.GÇ¥
Phillips, who was born and raised in Monroe, retired on June 1, and is looking forward to spending more time with her two grandchildren. She plans on volunteering within the community.
"I just want to continue to contribute,GÇ¥ said Phillips.
City Council confirmed Monroe resident Steve Jensen as the new member of the planning commission, filling the vacancy left by Paul Loots.
Jensen has lived in Monroe since 1997 and is married with two teenage children. He has been active in the community, serving on the transportation committee and participating in the Monroe School District's citizen group.
Jensen submitted his letter of interest earlier this year.
"I would like to offer my skills and varied interests, along with my years of experience living in Monroe, to help this city as it plans for the future,GÇ¥ wrote Jensen.
City Administrator Gene Brazel said that Jensen impressed them during his interview.
"One of the questions that we asked was, "What is your vision of Monroe?'GÇ¥ said Brazel.
"His vision was awesome,GÇ¥ Brazel continued.
There were a total of four applicants for the position, one of which was withdrawn. Out of the three candidates, two were selected for interviews.
The motion to confirm Jensen passed unanimously.
"Thank you,GÇ¥ said Jensen. "I look forward to serving the city.GÇ¥
Jensen is a software design engineer and has worked as a contractor for Microsoft, doing testing.
The planning commission is made up of seven members who are appointed by the mayor and then confirmed by city council. The planning commissioners serve a term of four years. The commission makes recommendations to the city council on multiple land use issues such as zoning, code changes and changes to the comprehensive plan. They meet twice a month.
The city will adopt a new ordinance which will outline specific regulations governing animal businesses such as kennels, personal kennels, grooming parlors and pet shops.
The ordinance establishes specific license requirements, regulations for outdoor and indoor facilities and a requirement that business owners comply with inspections as per the request of animal control or any agent of a licensing authority.
The ordinance prohibits unsanitary conditions, particularly those that could negatively affect public health and safety. It also makes it illegal for any owner or employee of a kennel or pet shop to knowingly sell a sick or injured animal.
The first reading of the new ordinance passed unanimously.


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