By Oscar Halpert Herald Writer
EDMONDS — Eight candidates including a sitting Snohomish County Councilman and four former Edmonds City Council members are vying to become the city’s newest mayor.
All of the candidates are scheduled to be interviewed by the City Council tonight. Those candidates aim to serve as mayor of this city through next year, what is left of Mayor Gary Haakenson’s four-year term.
Haakenson resigned last month to become Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon’s deputy, replacing Mark Soine. Haakenson’s last day as mayor was July 2.
Whoever is appointed faces a daunting task. The city last year used furloughs and program cuts to ease a budget shortfall of more than $5 million. Within months, the mayor will have to propose a budget for 2011.
Six of the applicants say they’d campaign for the office in 2011 if the city continues with an strong-mayor form of government rather than changing to a city manager-run administration.
They’ll make their case for why they should be interim mayor when the council interviews them in a meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.
Council President Steve Bernheim is the acting mayor until an interim is selected.
The council is expected to choose the interim mayor on July 20. The annual salary for mayor is $113,210.
Applicants include Snohomish County Councilman Mike Cooper and former council members Ron Wambolt, Richard Marin, Dick Van Hollebeke and Roger Hertrich. Other applicants include business owners Michael Pederson and Frank Yamamoto and Todd Clayton, a former retail employee.
Here are the candidates:
Cooper, 58, is a retired firefighter who lives in Edmonds, where he grew up and where his father was the longtime fire chief. He was elected to the county council in 2007 after serving in the state Legislature. Last spring, he returned from a several month absence after being treated for cancer.
Hertrich, a frequent presence at council meetings, served on the council from 1988 to 1991. He serves on the South County Senior Center board of directors and the Historical Preservation Board.
Marin served on the council from 2001 though 2008. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he’s been a member of several boards and commissions, locally and regionally. He also served on the Community Transit board of directors from 2004 through 2008 and the Sound Transit board of directors from 2005 through 2008.
Pederson, 67, is an architect and business owner who once served on Edmonds’ Architectural Design Board.
Van Hollebeke, an Edmonds Community College trustee, served on the council with Haakenson from 1996 through 1999.
The retired founder of Van Hollebecke Financial Services, he’s volunteered on many committees and boards since moving to the city in 1977. Van Hollebeke wrote on his application that he wouldn’t campaign for the full term of office next year.
Wambolt served on the council from 2006 through 2009 after losing a primary race to Lora Petso, whom the council recently appointed to fill the seat vacated by Dave Orvis. A seven-year resident, Wambolt also was chairman of the council’s finance committee. He said he would not campaign for the office in 2011. Yamamoto owns Running in Motion, an Edmonds running store. He also is chairman of the Economic Development Commission, is president of the Downtown Merchants Association and is a member of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Oscar Halpert: 425-339-3429; firstname.lastname@example.org.