By Evan Smith
The Edmonds City Council will continue to consider candidates for the vacancy on the council at its Tuesday, Feb. 4, meeting before appointing a new council member at its Feb. 11 meeting.
The council continues to consider 14 candidates out of the original 15 applicants, now that Climate Protection Committee member Val Stewart has withdrawn.
The council has invited seven of the applicants for second interviews, not because they are the top candidates but because council members either 1) weren’t able to ask all their questions at the Jan. 28 meeting; 2) wanted to ask clarifying or follow up questions; or 3) are not as familiar with them as they are with other applicants.
The council will interview these six candidates at the Tuesday, Feb. 4, meeting: Harry Gatjen, Kathleen Dewhirst, Thomas W. Mesaros, Carreen Nordling Rubenkonig, Stephen C. Schroeder and Neil Tibbott. Council members will interview candidate Tim E. Healy by each sending him one or two e-mailed questions because Healy will be unavailable Tuesday.
Council President Diane Buckshnis gave this description Wednesday of the process that the council will follow at its next two meetings: “Six candidates that some of us want to get to know will be afforded up to 20 minutes Feb. 4 and as expressed Tuesday night, some Council members may not ask any questions as they might know the candidate.
“On Feb. 11, we will have all (14) candidates on the ballot and after an hour, if we do not come to consensus, we will move to executive session to discuss potential candidates and then, once we return, we will hopefully select a candidate and, if it goes for a second hour, we will break to executive session again (this part is new) and attempt to reconcile our issues.
“The Mayor will not be part of this process nor will he be able (nor does he want to) break any ties.”
Other candidates beside the seven being interviewed for a second time include former Councilmen Steve Bernheim and Ron Wambolt, along with Deborah Anderson, Randy Hayden, Philip Lopresti, Alvin Rutledge and Timothy A. Schell.
The Council interviewed all candidates at the Tuesday, Jan. 28, meeting.
The person appointed will replace Frank Yamamoto who resigned due to illness in late 2013.
The new council member will serve through the 2015 election.