Applicants for open council seat introduce themselves
City Council will narrow list of 12 at this week’s meeting
EVERETT - The City Council is readying itself to pick former Councilman Shannon Affholter’s successor next week.
Twelve applicants want the position. This week the council will winnow the field to no more than six choices.
The deciding council vote will be made Wednesday, Nov. 13. The public is invited to tell the council through Nov. 13 their preferences by e-mailing email@example.com.
The twelve applicants are (in no particular order): Art Thomson, Jim Staniford, June Robinson, Jackie Minchew, Elly Smith, Richard Anderson, Andrea Sweerus, Megan Dunn, David Simpson, Kim Nielsen, Steve Bugge and Judy Tuohy.
Each applicant gave a five-minute introduction at last week’s meeting with varying visions for Everett.
Bugge believes in encouraging high-tech manufacturing to create a “21st century blue collar city.”
Smith wants to help guide the city’s growth while being conscientious of how that growth impacts neighborhoods.
Nielsen would boost the cultural arts, keep fiscal stewardship and work on attracting more businesses.
The representative balance of council members — four of the remaining six are white men with white collar jobs — is a discussion theme that’s been bubbling up in the appointment process and being highlighted by some applicants.
Dunn and Sweerus both remarked the current council makeup doesn’t correlate with the city’s demographics.
Dunn said there’s a voiceless contingent she would work on representing.
Staniford, who’s run the Vintage Cafe downtown for more than 30 years, said he’d balance the council with a small business owner’s perspective.
Minchew said he’d work to build a strong, resilient economy that can withstand any revenue drops at Boeing, which dominates Everett’s economy.
Anderson said he’d strengthen what Everett has already to build the city further.
He applied for the position as a need to give back to the community, a reason that was also echoed by Thomson.
Other candidates emphasized their skillset as a good fit to be on City Council.
Simpson, a former Councilman, noted his decades of public policy work. His priorities are economic development, public safety and transportation.
Robinson, who’s run for council before, emphasized her leadership, grant management and budgeting skills. She’d like to help guide Everett’s future through major upcoming projects.
Tuohy noted she’s managed the Schack Art Center into being a model for other art centers. “I care about Everett’s people and want to deliver what they care about most,” Tuohy said.
Council President Jeff Moore postponed trimming the field until this week to let the council consider their choices.
The applicants who move forward in the narrowing process will be interviewed during a special afternoon session 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the City Council Chambers, 3002 Wetmore Ave. The council will appoint the winner during the regular meeting that night at 6:30 p.m.
The appointee will be sworn in Nov. 20 to serve for one year until the 2014 general election is certified. The seat will be up for election next year to fill the rest of Affholter’s term. The seat then comes up for another election in 2015 for a four-year term.
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