The Pullman City Council on Tuesday appointed Rebecca Dueben as the new Ward 2 City Councilmember.

Dueben will replace Dan Records, who resigned after accepting a job at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Dueben is the tutoring director at the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture at Washington State University. She has served on the Pullman Parks and Recreation Commission since 2018 and was part of the Friends of Neill Public Library from 2018-19.

The city council spent approximately an hour of Tuesday’s meeting interviewing the four candidates who applied for the Ward 2 position. The other candidates were Garren Shannon, Bill Whitman and Melissa Emerson.

Dueben said her top priorities include carrying out the city’s master plan to revitalize downtown. She also plans to prioritize better communication between the city and the public, address homelessness and work to make the city more accessible to those with limited mobility.

Dueben said she values inclusion in a community that is growing increasingly diverse.

“Either we include all of our citizens or we don’t,” she said.

When asked what she thought were the best and worst aspects of Pullman, Dueben said she loves how connected she feels to the community. However, she said not everyone feels that same level of inclusion.

“This is my home,” she said. “But I know that does not extend to everyone.”

When asked why she ran for city council, Dueben said she wanted to follow Records’ example of prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion.

To prepare for the council, Dueben said she watched meetings, read the downtown master plan and reviewed the city’s stated goals.

Tuesday also marked the first meeting for new councilmembers Megan Guido and Francis Benjamin, who were elected in November.

Later in the meeting, the city council gave its approval to move on to Phase 1 of the downtown master plan, being led by Welch Comer Engineers.

The company just completed Phase 0, which included collecting data on traffic counts. During Phase 1, Welch Comer will determine the feasibility of projects to improve downtown, conduct community outreach and present the council with a “menu” of projects that are ready for design and construction.

Phase 1 will cost $386,500.

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