Everett seeks candidates for interim seat on council

  • Wed May 23rd, 2012 7:57pm
  • News

By Debra Smith Herald Writer

EVERETT — The City Council is now accepting applications to temporarily fill the seat left vacant after the May 12 death of Drew Nielsen.

Council President Ron Gipson said it been “a sad, sad week” for the council, but that it was important to quickly — and fairly — fill Nielsen’s seat until elections can be held in November.

Those interested should submit a cover letter and resume by 10 a.m. Tuesday to the City Clerk’s Office, 2930 Wetmore Ave.

Candidates must be registered voters, residents of Everett for at least a year and be at least 18 years old. Council members are paid $26,279.57 a year. The council president is paid $34,163.86.

Once the applications are submitted, council members will be provided with packet of candidates to review independently. Each council member will seal his or her nomination in an envelope to be opened at the 6:30 p.m. May 30 council meeting.

The top candidates will be interviewed and council members will vote June 6.

If necessary, the council may hold a second public session before voting.

By city charter, the council has 30 days to fill the seat — that’s June 11. If they don’t, the mayor can make an appointment.

The interim council member would serve until the November election is certified.

Five people have filed to run in that election: former mayor Pete Kinch; retired Everett police Officer Jon Ott; former City Council candidates Scott Bader and June Robinson; and Bill Paulen.

Whoever wins would serve the remaining three years of Nielsen’s term.

None of those five candidates should apply for the interim position, Gipson said. He said he wouldn’t accept their applications because it wouldn’t be fair and might appear as if the council had handpicked a replacement. “We’re trying to make this as sterile and clean as possible,” he said.

Nielsen was elected to the Everett City Council for the third time last fall.

He was killed in a whitewater rafting accident earlier this month.

Friends, neighbors and supporters continue to deal with his loss. Wednesday, black ribbons were tied on trees along Colby Avenue in the Northwest Neighborhood a few blocks from where he lived.

A group of neighbors is working on getting a park on 13th street renamed Drew Nielsen Neighborhood Park. Nielsen was instrumental in creating the park, which was originally slated to become a hospital parking lot.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197; dsmith@heraldnet.com.