Champagne was flowing at the Granite Falls Eagles building as Mayor Haroon Saleem held an inaugural party last Saturday inviting supporters and well wishers in order to thank those who were a significant part of his successful campaign.
Over 200 people packed into the Eagles Club and loaded their plates with food, enjoyed music by two different bands and toasted the new mayor.
Saleem, who officially took office on Jan. 1, won a heated election against incumbent Lyle Romack. Former Mayor Rella Morris, who was a founding member of the Granite Falls Concerned Citizens Association (GFCCA) along with Saleem was thrilled to see him win the election.
“I am so glad Saleem is in there,” Morris said. “It was because he (Saleem) and others were upset that we started the GFCCA.”
A strong supporter of Saleem, Fred Kruger, introduced the mayor to the crowd calling Saleem, “The man with the plan.”
“He works hard to make progress,” Kruger said.
Senator Maria Cantwell sent a representative to the party and Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-39th District, also joined in the celebration.
“It’s wonderful to see the community support,” Pearson said. “I think he will do a really good job.” Former Mayor Floyd “Butch” DeRosia, Snohomish County Treasurer Kirke Sievers and Granite Falls Police Chief Tony Domish were also in attendance.
Although Saleem and Domish have had their differences in the past, the two joined each other in a celebratory dance.
As Saleem stood up to speak to the crowd his eyes filled with tears.
“This is great day,” he said. “I’m overwhelmed with emotions. Our city has made history––I’ve been elected Mayor.”
He went on to thank his wife, daughter and mother as well as the rest of his family for their support and to provide hope for a strong future for the city of Granite Falls.
“We will set the standard for what community is all about,” he said.