The Pendleton City Council made a little bit of history at its first meeting of 2019.
Mayor John Turner swore in councilors Jake Cambier, Carole Innes, McKennon McDonald, and Linda Neuman Tuesday.
As new councilors Innes and Neuman joined McDonald and Becky Marks on the dais, Turner noted that this was probably the first time the council had gender parity — the voting members of the council are split evenly between four men and four women.
The series of firsts continued when it came time for the council to select a council president to replace Neil Brown, who held the position from 2015-2018.
Fresh off being sworn in for a second term, McDonald was unanimously voted council president.
In seconding her nomination, Marks said it was a “historical event” because a woman had never served as council president.
As council president, McDonald will run council meetings in Turner’s absence and also perform some ceremonial duties.
Despite all the honorifics, the council otherwise kept official business to a minimum.
The council did vote unanimously to grant a fee waiver to Neighbor 2 Neighbor Pendleton for the nonprofit to operate its Sunday breakfast program out of the Foundation Room at the Pendleton Recreation Center.
Neighbor 2 Neighbor Executive Director Dwight Johnson said the breakfast program local homeless and low-income residents was based at the First United Methodist Church at 352 S.E. Second St. for five years, but the two organizations parted ways recently.
Johnson said Neighbor 2 Neighbor would need use of the room from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., which would normally cost $9,100 to rent for the year.
The council granted Neighbor 2 Neighbor the fee waiver with an added provision to reconsider it each year. Johnson said he expected breakfast service to start in March or April.
Turner also honored outgoing councilors Brown and Chuck LeValle, who was defeated by Innes in the May election.
LeValle was appointed to fill an empty Ward 1 seat in March following the death of John Brenne, who served on the council for 40 years.
LeValle joked to the audience that he was involved in two records: the shortest-tenured city councilor following the longest.