Councilman continues to avoid questions surrounding his official residence

Kelly will not comment on his uncertain future with election day less than three weeks away
By Dan Aznoff | Oct 19, 2017

First-term Councilmember Sean Kelly has not spoken with his colleagues on the City Council regarding questions raised over the requirement that councilmembers live in the area they area they represent.

Kelly, who is running for a second four-year term on the Mill Creek Council this fall, reportedly bought a home in Snohomish, but believed he could continue to serve on the council as long as he owned property in the city. The councilmember has not responded to repeated phone calls and messages from The Beacon seeking an update on his status.

“I do know that Sean is going through some difficult personal issues. We are all trying to respect is privacy,” Mayor Pam Pruitt told The Beacon. “But that is not an excuse for blatantly ignoring direct questions. The public deserves to know what’s going on before they cast their ballot.”

Garth Fell, the Elections and Recording Manager for Snohomish County, said he has not received notification from the councilmember that he has moved out of the city, but quickly added he has also not received a challenge to Kelly’s place on the ballot.

With the election on Nov. 7, Fell said Kelly’s name will remain on the ballot unless there is a court order to have it removed. If the incumbent is re-elected and later found not qualified to serve on the council, the remaining six members would be forced to appoint an individual to fulfill his term.

Kelly is the only member of he council with a challenger in this election cycle. Political newcomer Carmen Fisher filed to run against Kelly for Position No. 1 on the seven-person board. Fisher has not brought up the subject of her opponent’s residency, but admits the news of his situation has inspired her to mount a more active campaign.

“My goal was just to have my name on the ballot,” Fisher told The Beacon. “The challenge my opponent is dealing with has made the possibility that I could actually get elected and serve my community has energized me.”

Fisher did say that she would be extremely disappointed if Kelly is forced to resign and she is not selected to fill his seat on the city council.

Mayor Pro Tem Brian Holtzclaw said he was unaware of the issues facing Kelly, but reached out to him privately to lend his support with the issues Kelly is dealing with on a personal level.

“He did not say anything to me, and as far as I know, nothing to anybody else on the council,” said Holtzclaw. “The first time I learned about Sean’s situation was when I read it in The Beacon.”

 

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