Council approves agreement for mosaic artwork display

A group of glass artists has volunteered to create a mosaic mural of wildflowers for a wall outside city hall.

Tonasket City Hall and Library. GT File Photo

Tonasket City Hall and Library. GT File Photo

TONASKET — During their July 11 meeting, the Tonasket City Council approved entering into an agreement with Okanogan Highlands Alliance (OHA) for a mosaic mural for city hall. The artwork will be created by Mosaic Mania, formally known as The Wild Women of Glass.

Jennifer Weddle, OHA Co-Executive Director was present during Tuesday’s meeting to review the details of the agreement.

“There is a group of glass artists who have volunteered to create a mosaic mural for the wall of the city hall of wildflowers,” said Weddle.

Weddle said during the May meeting, the understanding was the project was approved pending a formal agreement.

“Since that time, we have kind of been going back and forth with the artists and thinking about the structure of that,” said Weddle.

According to Weddle, The Wild Women of Glass, once a three-person group has expanded to a seven-person group.

“They have rebranded themselves as Mosaic Mania,” said Weddle.

The excitement around the project is growing. Weddle said the group is excited to do the project, as a gift to the community.

“But they would also like it to be a gift, so they would like to create this art and then not be tied to it,” said Weddle.

Weddle said OHA will care for the art work for the long term.

“We are coming back to you with an art display agreement proposal,” said Weddle.

Councilmember Jeffrey McMillan moved to approve the art display agreement with Okanogan Highlands Alliance for art work to be placed on the city hall building and authorize the mayor to sign the agreement, pending being approved by the city attorney. The motion passed unanimously.

During public comment, Tonasket resident Emily Schell approached the council and Mayor Rene Maldonado with concerns regarding the Tonasket City Pool Manager.

Schell said herself and other community members were told by the lifeguards working at the city pool that the manager has sexually harassed them and done or said many other inappropriate things since the start of the season.

“Several of the kids have written letters to the city,” said Schell.

According to Schell, the lifeguards asked the city to seek new management and have written multiple complaints, yet nothing has been done.

“He should have been fired,” said Schell.

Schell said some of the lifeguards made further reports and claimed the city retaliated against one of the lifeguards and fired him.

Maldonado said there has been a process that has been followed.

Schell went on to say she attended a meeting where the issue was addressed between the lifeguards and manager because she was asked to be present by some of the lifeguards.

“All of them are saying it’s the truth. I don’t see how that’s hearsay,” said Schell.

Reading from the Mayor and Council Member Handbook, Councilwoman Alisa Weddle, addressed the role of the council.

“It is not the role of the council member to provide city employees on-the-job or become involved in the day-to-day administration of city affairs. This can be a source of conflict between the executive and legislative branches of city government,” said Weddle.

Maldonado said he would look further into the matter.

Schell said she has worked with children most of her life and personally feels more action should be taken.

“Had I said, even one of the things he said, I would have been immediately fired and he should have been too,” said Schell.