By Evan Smith
It took 59 ballots over a month’s time, but the Edmonds City Council finally filled the Council position that has been vacant since former Councilman Frank Yamamoto resigned at the end of December.
The Council appointed retired consultant Thomas W. Mesaros to the post Tuesday, March 11, after the six remaining council members took two weeks away from voting to give individual members time for one-on-one meetings with applicants whom they might not have considered in earlier balloting.
The Feb. 11 Council meeting had ended in a 3-3 tie after 27 ballots, with Councilwomen Joan Bloom, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Lora Petso supporting former Councilman Steve Bernheim, and Council members Diane Buckshnis, Kristiana Johnson and Strom Peterson supporting former federal prosecutor Stephen Schroeder after some members of that group had cast votes for other candidates.
The Feb. 18 meeting ended in the same 3-3 tie after 19 more ballots, with the Shroeder supporters casting votes for several other candidates, while each of the Bernheim supporters stayed with him on all ballots.
Finally Tuesday, Councilwoman Bloom nominated Mesaros with the others who had supported Bernheim eventually switching to Mesaros.
Then, on the 56th ballot, Peterson voted for Mesaros, but Petso voted for Bernheim, denying Mesaros the four votes needed for appointment. On the 59th ballot, Bloom, Fraley-Monillas, Peterson and Petso gave Mesaros the needed four votes. Mayor Dave Earling administered the oath of office to Mesaros right after the 59th ballot.
Buckshnis said Thursday that she would have supported Mesaros had the voting gone to an additional ballot.
Johnson said that she welcomed Mesaros to the council.
Mesaros’ appointment lasts through certification of the 2015 general election.