Photo by Jessica Keller
Former Queen Anne Community Council Chairman Ellen Monrad speaks during a ceremony announcing plans to expand the tiny house village near the Magnolia Bridge this spring. Monrad, who has been heavily involved in the Queen Anne neighborhood for many years, recently resigned from the QACC after 26 years as chair.
Photo by Jessica Keller Former Queen Anne Community Council Chairman Ellen Monrad speaks during a ceremony announcing plans to expand the tiny house village near the Magnolia Bridge this spring. Monrad, who has been heavily involved in the Queen Anne neighborhood for many years, recently resigned from the QACC after 26 years as chair.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the Queen Anne Community Council has a new chairman after Ellen Monrad resigned from the council to pursue other interests.

At last week’s meeting, members paid tribute to Monrad, who served as Queen Anne Community Council chairman for 26 years. With Monrad’s departure, Sharon Levine is now the longest-serving member of the Community Council.

Prior to the election of the new officers, acting Chairman Don Harper said Monrad has accomplished a lot as chairman.

“One thing that amazed me is how incredibly involved she has been in the community,”  he said about Monrad, who was not in attendance. “Most people don’t know how much she has done.”

During her time on the council, Monrad has advocated for and represented the neighborhood on many action groups and committees through the years, including the planning and construction of Climate Pledge Arena, Sound Transit transportation projects and construction projects like the Trader Joe’s and the upcoming 21Boston/Safeway development. She also worked for 10 years to get various sidewalks in Queen Anne repaired.

Monrad has also been active in other organizations, serving on the Picture Perfect Queen Anne board and as a member of the Interfaith Council. She continues to regularly volunteer for the Sacred Heart Food Bank in Uptown.

“Ellen was rather a hidden gem,” Harper said. “It took me a long time to see how much she did for the community because she never made a big deal about it.”

QACC Secretary Beth Bunnell said the executive committee is planning to recognize Monrad for her efforts and her service to the council, while “trying to balance the fact that she won’t want us to do anything.”

Later in Wednesday’s meeting, QACC board members voted for the new officers and elected Paula Mueller the new chairman. Nicole Sweeney was elected vice chair. Bunnell was re-elected secretary, and Ben Bennett replaced Margaret Okamoto as treasurer.

After the meeting, Mueller said her first priorities as the chairman is “getting up to speed on all the things going on with committees,” adding she has some knowledge of them all, “but it’s different when you are responding to things.”

She said another goal is to emphasize community outreach to improve communication with residents and find ways to engage the community more broadly than in the past.

“I guess I’d like to focus more on what I would call doing good work, good community work that people can get involved in without feeling like they have to go to a meeting or join a committee,” Mueller said.

Mueller said while she has some ideas, she wants to hear from the rest of the board before formalizing any strategies.

The Queen Anne Community Council meets at 7:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month, currently through Zoom. Go to www.qacc.net for more information.