By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
EVERETT — A half-dozen candidates have applied to fill the soon-to-be-vacant City Council seat held by Arlan Hatloe, who is set to retire at the end of the year.
Each council member, by next week, expects to nominate one applicant to fill out the year remaining in Hatloe’s term. Interviews with finalists who have received at least one nomination are scheduled Dec. 27, with a final vote expected Jan. 2.
The appointee may run for the full four-year term next year.
The applicants are: Don Hopkins, a former Everett Port commissioner; June Robinson, a public health administrator and former City Council candidate; Heather Oie, a former Lake Stevens councilwoman who works for Snohomish County; Jocelyn Sievers-Bailey, an elementary school teacher from a long-serving political family; Everett Planning Commission member Scott Murphy, who also serves as the chief operating officer of the local Goldfinch Bros. glass company; and former Everett Mayor Pete Kinch.
Hopkins, 70, is a retired employee from the longshoremens union who served 18 years as an Everett Port commissioner. The Valley View resident won a state lottery in 1999 and has used some of the winnings to start scholarships at local high schools. In recent years, he’s served as an appointee to several government advisory boards.
Hopkins said he’s only interested in the interim appointment, not the full four-year term.
“I’ve been always been involved in something,” he said. “I thought, well, they need a replacement for a year, and with my background with budgets, basically everything the port did, the city does the same thing.”
Robinson, 53, who lives in Everett’s Northwest neighborhood, lost a close race to Scott Bader in November when the two faced off to fill the late Councilman Drew Nielsen’s seat. She also ran unsuccessfully against veteran Councilman Ron Gipson in 2011. While she’s not sure if she wants to run another campaign in 2013, she excited about the potential appointment.
“I would like very much to serve the people of Everett and represent them,” she said.
Before taking her current job as a program manager with Public Health — Seattle &King County, Robinson was the director of the nonprofit Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County.
Oie, 49, moved to Everett three years ago from Lake Stevens, where she had served a term on the City Council. She lives near Pacific Avenue downtown and works as an operations manager for the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office, one of several government jobs she’s held since the late 1980s.
“I’ve been on a council before so I understand that decisions can be difficult and sometimes unpopular,” she said.
Oie said she’s also interested in running for the full term next year.
Sievers-Bailey, 42, also from the Northwest neighborhood, is a teacher at Whittier Elementary School who has held volunteer leadership positions in the PTA and the Everett Youth Soccer Board.
“I’ve been in public education for a total of 18 years and love my job,” she said. “I love working with kids and the community.”
Her interactions with families through the school would inform her decisions on the council, she said, and would provide her with a better understanding of the community.
Sievers-Bailey is only eyeing the interim job now, but wouldn’t rule out a future run. She has political genes: She’s the daughter of Snohomish County Treasurer Kirke Sievers and granddaughter of Verne Sievers, who was county treasurer for 40 years, until the 1970s.
Murphy, 50, who lives in the View Ridge neighborhood, believes he brings well-rounded experience from business, serving on the city Planning Commission and volunteer work with nonprofit organizations. He heads up operations for Goldfinch Bros. and has lived in Everett for 20 years.
Though he might consider running for the full council term next year, his first priority is vying for the appointment.
“It’s been something that I’ve actually been thinking about for quite some time,” he said. “It’s a way that I can give back to the city. I’ve always been pretty involved in volunteer activities, mostly in the nonprofit (area).”
Kinch, 69, who lives near Harborview Park, is a former Everett mayor whose early career involved work as a Herald photographer. These days, he works part time directing the Hands For Peacemaking Foundation, which takes on projects to improve the quality of life in rural Guatemala.
Politically, Kinch said he’s not looking beyond the short-term appointment.
“This is a one-year term and it takes usually anywhere from six months to a year and a half to really get familiar with the job,” he said. “I’ve had the benefit of having both legislative and policy-making experience in Everett city government. I can go in an be an effective player right from the very beginning.”
The position is set to become vacant following Hatloe’s announcement last month that he plans to resign effective Dec. 31. He has served 11 years on the council.
The council’s nominations for his replacement are scheduled to be made public Tuesday.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; firstname.lastname@example.org.