Hearing set determine Kelly’s eligibility to hold office

By Dan Aznoff | Nov 15, 2017

The Snohomish County Auditors Office scheduled a hearing on Friday, (Nov. 17) to determine whether or not Mill Creek Councilmember Sean Kelly meets the qualifications to serve on the council by actually residing in the city he was elected to represent.

This hearing is in response to a voter registration challenge by Carmen Fisher, Kelly’s opponent in the Nov. 7 General Election. Kelly won re-election to a second four-year term with just under 72 percent of the 2,473 votes cast. Fisher collected 687 votes, or 27.8 percent. There were seven ballots submitted with write-ins.

Fisher’s challenge referenced evidence that “Kelly remains a Mill Creek property owner, but not a Mill Creek resident.”

“Accordingly,” Fisher said, “his voter registration should be found invalid and updated to reflect his new address.”

Washington State law requires city councilmembers to live within the municipality they represent.

Kelly’s residency has been in question since September when he told Beacon Publisher Paul Archipley that he had moved to Snohomish. Kelly said he still owns a Mill Creek residence and thought (incorrectly) that this allowed him to continue serving on the City Council even though he didn’t live there.

Kelly has not returned repeated attempts to contact him by telephone, text message or email asking him to confirm his current residence.

Asked if she had contacted Kelly regarding the issue, Fisher said, "I have sent Councilmember Kelly three emails over the past six weeks, but received no replies."

If the result of the hearing determines that Kelly is not eligible to serve on the Mill Creek City Council, Washington State law requires him to vacate his office. At that point, the council would have 90 days to appoint a replacement to serve the balance of his new term.

 

Richard VanWinkle of the website News of Mill Creek contributed to portions of this article.

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