Everett council still whittling candidates

EVERETT — The City Council is taking an extra week to cut in half a pool of 12 candidates who applied for Shannon Affholter’s former council seat.

All of the applicants took up to five minutes to speak at Wednesday night’s council meeting. The council intends to whittle the field down to six or fewer when they meet again next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

“We clearly have a really tough decision,” Councilman Paul Roberts said.

Interviews with finalists for the position are set for 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 13. Afterward, at that evening’s regular 6:30 p.m. council meeting, they intend to take final votes. The council expects to swear in the nominee Nov. 20.

The applicants are:

• Stephen Bugge, an Everett Community College student with experience in the freight industry.

• Jim Staniford, a downtown restaurant owner and karate teacher.

• Andrea Sweerus, a middle school behavior intervention teacher.

• Megan Dunn, an academic research analyst and postpartum doula.

• Kim Nieslen, who works with homeless teens and had a past career as a business analyst. She’s the widow of the late City Councilman Drew Nielsen.

• Richard Anderson, a certified public accountant.

• David Simpson, a security officer who served on the City Council from 1998 through 2001.

• Jackie Minchew, an elementary school music teacher; also challenging City Council incumbent Scott Murphy in the Nov. 5 election.

• Art Thomson, a commercial real estate broker and professional engineer.*

• Judy Tuohy, director of the Schack Art Center.

• June Robinson, a manager in public health and housing programs.

• Elly Smith, a licensed real estate broker.

The applicants include an equal number of men and women. Gender may be a consideration, given that Brenda Stonecipher is the only woman on the seven-member council.

While several applicants come from the city’s political center of gravity in north Everett, several others are from Lowell and other parts of the city.

Of the applicants, three graduated from Everett High School’s class of ‘72: Staniford, Tuohy and Anderson.

Wednesday’s meeting was Affholter’s last on the council, following nearly six years of service. He resigned from his Position 7 seat to accept a job leading the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.

The person who replaces him will serve through the 2014 election, which will determine the final year of the unexpired term. Elections for the full four-year term are scheduled in 2015.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

Correction, Nov. 4, 2013: An earlier version of this story inadvertently omitted the name of one of the candidates, Art Thomson.

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