By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published May 23, 2012
City must fill late councilman’s seat
EVERETT - City Councilman Drew Nielsen’s passing opened an unexpected vacancy that his colleagues are charged to fill.
The city’s charter requires the seat to be filled. The filing deadline for this year’s election was Friday, May 18, and people were given just days to file for the seat.
The elected candidate will fill the remainder of Nielsen’s term through 2015. Nielsen had been elected to his third term last fall.
Five people filed to run, triggering a primary race in August to narrow the field to two for the November general election.
The five candidates are previous council candidates Scott Bader and June Robinson, former mayor Pete Kinch, former police officer Jon Ott and bank branch manager Bill Paulen.
Political lobbyist Gigi Burke also filed but withdrew her name late last week.
Bader ran for council last year against Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher. He’s a fundraising director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle and a former longtime member of the transportation advisory committee.
Kinch was Everett’s mayor from 1990 to 1994.
He’s now the head of a nonprofit called Hands for Peacemaking Foundation, which does building work in impoverished nations and was founded by Snohomish’s late Dr. Leeon Aller Jr. and wife Virginia.
Robinson ran for council against Councilman Ron Gipson last year. She is a program manager at Public Health Seattle & King County and the former executive director of the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County.
The city’s charter also requires the council to fill the seat in the interim within 30 days. The interim seat will be filled until the general election’s certification, which usually happens in late November.
There hasn’t been a sitting member in recent memory to die while in office.