Recently Elected Kirkland City Councilmembers Sworn In

Published on January 06, 2022

Oath of Office Image

Media Contact:                                                  
David Wolbrecht
Communications Program Manager

KIRKLAND, Wash. – Kirkland’s four recently-elected Councilmembers were sworn in during a ceremony at the Kirkland City Council meeting on January 4, 2022.  Kirkland residents Penny Sweet (Council Position No. 3), Jay Arnold (Council Position No. 1), Jon Pascal (Council Position No. 7), and Neal Black (Council Position No. 5) were all re-elected in the November 2021 election and were officially sworn in on Tuesday by Kirkland Municipal Judge John R. Olson. Their terms are effective January 2022 through December 2025.

Penny Sweet moved to Kirkland in 1985 where she and her husband, Representative Larry Springer, have owned and operated The Grape Choice, a retail wine shop in downtown Kirkland, for 34 years. With a background in Health Care, over her 31-year career with Group Health, she managed business operations for five outpatient medical centers in Everett and Monroe and for the Hospitals and Specialty Centers in Seattle and Redmond since 1998. She is a member of Kirkland Art Center, where she served on the Board of Directors from 1987 until 1991. She served on the Kirkland Library Arts Committee and is a member of FOLK (Friends of the Library of Kirkland). She is a lifetime member of the Kirkland Heritage Society and a member of The Audubon Society and The Sierra Club. She has been recognized by the Kirkland Chamber as a “Friend of Kirkland” in 2000 and in 2005 received the President’s Award. In 2016 she was awarded the William C. Woods "Above & Beyond" Award by the Chamber for outstanding community leadership.

Jay Arnold runs his own web development business and also works as a Technology Consultant at Fuse Washington, the state’s largest grassroots progressive organization. Arnold has volunteered in the community as a board member and President of Futurewise, the state’s leading smart growth advocacy organization, and as a board member at Spark Northwest developing community-based renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Arnold seeks to protect Kirkland's quality of life through long-term planning, forward-thinking investments in transportation and parks, and a focus on sustainability as the community grows with grace. Prior to being elected to the Council, he served on Kirkland’s Planning Commission from 2009 through 2013, including a term as Chair.  Arnold is a former manager at Microsoft and has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Jon Pascal is a principal and part owner of Transpo Group, an international transportation planning and engineering services company headquartered in Kirkland's Totem Lake area. His work focuses on delivering advanced transportation solutions that incorporate innovative technologies and smart growth principles. Born and raised in Bellevue, Pascal is a long-time resident of Kirkland having lived in both the Finn Hill neighborhood and now in the Juanita neighborhood and is a proud alumnus of the University of Washington, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry and a Master of Science degree in Engineering. His passion for improving transportation safety and mobility has led to his participation on a number of advisory groups for the City that helped guide the outcomes of the 100th Avenue NE Corridor Study, the Juanita Drive Corridor Study, and the Central Way Corridor Improvements.

Neal Black is a long-time resident of Kirkland, having lived in the Lakeview neighborhood, the Everest neighborhood, and now the Central Houghton neighborhood. Black has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University.  He is a licensed member of the bar in Washington and Oregon. He has been involved in public policy and related community service for over 25 years. From 2014-2019, he was the chair of the Public Policy Committee of the King County Bar Association, where he is now a member of the Board of Trustees, addressing issues associated with diversity in the legal profession and equal access to justice. Black has also worked on public policy for the White House Office on Environmental Policy (1994), the California State Assembly Natural Resources Committee (1993), the US Department of Justice Environmental Enforcement Division (1997), and the Environmental Defense Fund (1996) as a law clerk intern.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the Council re-elected Sweet and Arnold as Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively.  As a “council-manager” form of government, Kirkland’s Mayor and Deputy Mayor roles are selected from within the Council to serve for two-year terms. The Mayor’s responsibilities are primarily to preside at Council meetings and act as head of the City for ceremonial purposes. The Mayor votes as a Councilmember and does not have any veto power. Mayor Sweet has served as Kirkland’s Mayor since 2019.  Deputy Mayor Arnold has served as Kirkland’s Deputy Mayor since 2016. More information about Kirkland’s form of government can be found on the City Council webpage.

For questions and additional information, contact David Wolbrecht, Communications Program Manager, at or 425-587-3021.