City Council selects planning commissioner to fill seat
EVERETT - The City Council last week appointed businessman Scott Murphy to fill retired Councilman Arlan Hatloe’s seat.
Murphy is ascending from the city’s planning commission. The council liked his intimate working knowledge of the former Kimberly-Clark Mill site — one of the commission’s main planning tasks last year.
They also liked Murphy’s history of community involvement and managerial expertise as the chief operating officer of local glass and glazing company Goldfinch Bros.
The council chose to have Murphy sworn in right after it appointed him because another major development project, the Snohomish Riverfront development project, is up for discussion this week.
Murphy was appointed in a 4-2 vote over June Robinson, who had the support of Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher and Councilman Paul Roberts.
Roberts said all three applicants were strong candidates but urged his colleagues to support Robinson as the people’s choice.
In last November’s election, Robinson received 15,195 votes to winner Councilman Scott Bader’s 16,979 votes to fill late Councilman Drew Nielsen’s seat. The November election attracted the most votes ever in a City Council race, Roberts said.
“When 15,000 voters ask to be recognized, we should not ignore them,” Roberts said. “We have an obligation to listen to them.”
A third applicant, former Mayor Pete Kinch, was eliminated in the first round of voting. Councilman Ron Gipson voted for Kinch, and later voted for Murphy.
Murphy, 50, lives in the View Ridge Neighborhood and came to Everett 20 years ago. He joined the planning commission in 2010.
Council members liked that Murphy lives outside of north Everett, where one neighborhood is home to three council members as well as Robinson. Murphy’s appointment means four council members live north of downtown and three live south of downtown.
Murphy will fill the seat until the November election is certified, according to the city attorney. Murphy can choose to run for election in November to remain in the seat for a full four-year term.
In his application, he wrote that he believes he will bring a balanced point of view on spending and policy decisions. He believes in supporting public safety and parks while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Stonecipher supported Robinson in part because she believes Robinson is in touch with the growing low-income community of Everett. Robinson is the former director of the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County, an affordable housing group.
Council President Jeff Moore said Robinson’s experience would bring diversity to the council, but Murphy’s business experience adds to the council as well. Moore called it a tough call, but Murphy’s firsthand knowledge of current projects persuaded Moore to vote for Murphy, he said.
Stonecipher and Roberts later voted to appoint Murphy in a unanimous vote.
This is the second council appointment in seven months after Hatloe’s surprise resignation and Nielsen’s death in a May rafting accident.
Hatloe surprised his colleagues in November by announcing his resignation after serving 11 years on council. His last day was Dec. 31.
Six people applied to fill Hatloe’s seat before the council narrowed the field to three.
Gigi Burke, Hatloe’s preferred successor for his seat, held Nielsen’s seat until Bader won the election in November. Burke did not apply for Hatloe’s seat because of family timing, she said previously.
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