Hearing to determine Kelly’s eligibility to hold office set for Nov. 17

Incumbent continues to dodge questions about his official residence
Nov 09, 2017

The Snohomish County Auditors Office has scheduled a hearing to determine whether or not Mill Creek Councilmember Sean Kelly has his primary residence within city limits.

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 of the votes. 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.”

Washington State law requires city council members to reside within city limits.“Accordingly,” Fisher said, “his Voter Registration should be found invalid and updated to reflect his new address.”

Kelly’s residency has been in question since September when he told Beacon Publisher Paul Archipley that he had moved to Snohomish. Archipley reported that Kelly is part owner of 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 hasnot returned repeated attempts to contact him by telephone, text message or email asking for him to confirm his current residence.

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

If the hearing does determine 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 city 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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