Fisher plans to take a wait-and-see attitude on any legal action regarding council vacancy

Disappointed candidate said her appeals have provided a service to the city
By Dan Aznoff | Dec 17, 2017

A disappointed Carmen Fisher has decided to wait until the Mill Creek City Council takes action to fill the open seat on the city council before deciding whether or not to pursue any additional legal action regarding the outcome of the November election.

Snohomish Superior Court Judge George Appel stopped short of declaring Fisher the winner of the election on Friday when he was ruled on a request by Fisher to invalidate votes for ex-City Councilman Sean Kelly. Kelly admitted to a canvassing board last month that he moved out of the city at the end of July and resides in Snohomish.

Kelly won re-election in November with almost 72 percent of the votes cast.

“Mr. Kelly isn’t qualified to take office and he cannot take office,” Appel said. “The next step is a little more complicated.”

Fisher had asked the court to disqualify any votes cast for Kelly and recalculate the final tally without.

“Only my first request was granted,” said Fisher.

City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto confirmed that Kelly had returned the $2,500 in council salary he received between July 31 and December.

“At this point it is premature to conclude that the next step is up to the city council,” Polizzotto told The Beacon. “First, we do not have an order from the court detailing findings of fact and law.  I will need to receive such an order and review that order with the city attorney before we can advise the city council as to what their role is at this juncture.”

Fisher said she was disappointed that the judge stopped short of declaring her the winner after the ruling of the Canvassing Board and Kelly’s admission. She had hoped the judge would have settled the matter to provide direction to the city and the council. Fisher now plan plans to wait until after the council meeting on Monday, Dec. 18, to decide her next step.

“At this point, it’s probably not in the best interest of the city—or for me—to pursue a decision through the courts,” Fisher said. “I have no doubt that a judge would rule in my favor if I decided had chosen to take this matter one step further.”

Position No. 1 on the council could remain vacant for months if the council decides to take applications from interested parties and conducts interviews before selecting an individual to fulfill the balance of Kelly’s four-year term.

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