Lee, who has been on the council since 1994, was the deputy mayor under outgoing Mayor Don Davidson. Bellevue has a council-manager system of government, which means that the mayor and deputy mayor are chosen among the council members. In Bellevue, the positions are chosen every two years.
Lee's appointment is a historical one for Bellevue, which has become increasingly diverse in the past 10 years, according to numbers generated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
"It's important to note that Bellevue just chose our first Asian-American mayor in our history, and that is an important milestone," said Jennifer Robertson, who also was elected by the council unanimously Tuesday night to be the city's Deputy Mayor.