Mead elected as the fresh face on Mill Creek council

Incumbents returned to seats with county, fire district and on Everett school board
By Dan Aznoff | Nov 15, 2017

Jackson High School alum Jared Mead earned his place on the Mill Creek City Council for the next four years alongside three councilmembers who were re-elected to serve new four-year terms in last week’s General Election.

Mead collected more than 3,000 votes running unopposed in his first quest for public office. He will replace 17-year council veteran Donna Michelson, who decided not to seek another term, in Position No. 2 on the council. The council race was the first attempt for public office for the 26-year-old legislative aide to Democratic State Sen. Guy Palumbo in the 1st Legislative District.

Mayor Pam Pruitt and Mayor Pro Tem Brain Holtsclaw both ran unopposed.

First-term Councilmember Sean Kelly finished with nearly 72 percent of the vote in his race against attorney and entrepreneur Carmen Fisher. Kelly had 2,600 votes to defeat the political newcomer for his second term. Fisher finished with 1,014 votes, or 28 percent, according to the Snohomish County Elections Department.

Interestingly, the three candidates who ran without opponents on the ballot had different vote totals. While Mead collected 3,037 votes in his first appearance on any ballot and Pruitt tallied 2,967 votes, Holtzclaw topped all of the contenders with 3,054 votes.

One person interviewed at last week’s Veteran’s Day Parade said he did not participate in the local election because there were no candidates on the ballot worthy of his vote.

The Snohomish County Auditor has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 17 to address a challenge filed by Fisher to resolve the controversy over Kelly’s official residence and whether or not he is qualified to serve on the council based on his primary residence. Her challenge cited that Kelly remains a property owner in Mill Creek, but resides in a home he purchased last summer in the city of Snohomish.

Washington state law requires members of a city council to reside within the city limits of the town they represent. Kelly has repeatedly avoided questions from The Beacon regarding clarification of his official address.

If the results of the hearing determine that Kelly is not eligible to serve, the other six members of the council will have 90 days to name his replacement. Fisher has said repeatedly that she would be disappointed if she is not selected to serve in the event Kelly is found to be disqualified.

Voters interviewed at the parade last Saturday had mixed feelings about Kelly’s success at the polls. One woman said she voted for Kelly because she felt sorry for somebody having family or marital issues. She said she felt sad for Kelly, but admitted that personal issues are not the ideal qualifications to serve in public office.

A veteran of the Korean War was more outspoken on the subject.

“We should all have sympathy for a man with personal or family issues, but not for somebody who avoids answering a simple question,” the veteran told The Beacon.

“I thought the voters in Mill Creek are more intelligent than to return that man to office. He has no respect for the people who live in this community or for the role that a free press plays in our democracy.”

In other election results that impact residents of Mill Creek, voters in District 4 re-elected Snohomish County Councilmember Terry Ryan to a new four-year term. Ryan collected nearly 65 percent of the vote against his challenger, Bothell resident Marcus Barton.

Former school board President Pam LeSesne was elected to another six-year term in Position No. 5 on the Everett Public Schools Board of Directors with more than 81 percent of the vote over Janelle Nixon-Burke. Randy Fay was re-elected to serve another term as a commissioner on the governing board of Fire District 7 with 69 percent of the vote over challenger Rick Edwards.

The office of the county auditor also reported that several races in the mail-only election were still too close to call. The results are not expected to be finalized until Nov. 21.

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