Newest councilmember will have to hit the ground running

Less than 2 weeks remain to submit application to fill vacant seat
By Dan Aznoff | Jan 18, 2018

A demanding schedule of meetings regarding capital improvements and long-range planning are in store for the person selected to fill the vacant position on the Mill Creek City Council.

The six current councilmembers issued a warning to potential applicants who want to fill the unexpired term left open by the resignation of a councilmember who moved out of the city prior to the November election.

“Whoever is selected should be ready to roll up their sleeves,” Mayor Pam Pruitt said with a smile. “There will be very little time to wait for the new person to get up to speed.

“The council has a full agenda this year. We need to be at full strength as soon as possible.”

Mayor Pro Tem Brian Holtzclaw was even more direct.

“The council will be making decisions that will impact the city for many years to come. It will be grueling,” Holtzclaw told The Beacon.

“Personally, I am looking forward to participating in the process regarding the capital needs in the city, including determining policy for maintaining some of our crumbing roadways and deciding on what can be built on the final piece of the puzzle, the 12-acres near Gateway.”

Less than two weeks remain for interested individuals to pick up an application packet to be considered to fill Position No. 1 on the council. Completed applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1.

The city produced a full-color, four-page handout that outlines the requirements for serving on the council as well as an explanation of the city’s Council-Manager form of government.

In accordance with state law, applicants must have been a resident of Mill Creek for at least one year immediately prior to the time of application, and must be registered to vote within the city.

The application packet includes basic personal information, plus space for a written statement summarizing the applicant’s involvement with the city (boards, civic organizations, youth organizations, etc.), a summary of what the applicant most likes about living in Mill Creek, and why the individual is interested in serving on the council.

The person selected will serve until the election scheduled in November of 2019 is certified in December. The newest councilmember will be eligible to run for a full term that expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

The council hopes to hold its first round of interviews during the regular council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6, with hopes of having the new member sworn in no later than the end of March.

“Depending on the number of applications we receive,” Councilmember Mike Todd told his colleagues, “we could have our decision that first night of interviews and have the person sworn in before we all go home that night.”

Additional interviews may be conducted based on the number of applications submitted. Application packets are available online at www.cityofmillcreek.com/counsel-application-Jan2018 or in person at City Hall, 15728 Main St.

Additional information about the council vacancy is available online at www.cityofmillcreek.com/vacantcouncilseat.

The vacancy was created by the retroactive resignation of Sean Kelly, who withdrew from his elected duties after an Election Board and a Snohomish County Superior Court judge ruled that he was not eligible to serve on the council after moving to Snohomish in July.

Kelly’s back-dated resignation was submitted to City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto in early December, along with any payments received from the city between August and December.

Kelly was reelected to the council with 72 percent of the vote in the November election. His opponent, Carmen Fisher, filed motions with the board and the court to have Kelly’s votes disqualified.

Fisher told The Beacon that she plans to throw her hat into the ring to be considered to be the seventh member of the council.

“I’m not only qualified, I’m the best candidate. Mill Creek’s goal is to become a leader among cities, and that won’t happen with an entirely homogeneous council,” she said boldly. “A single progressive viewpoint can’t do harm, but it can add important nuance that takes performance from excellent to best.”

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