Gold Bar should have mayor by November

Gold Bar will get a new mayor later this year after months of nobody wanting the job.

Three people, including a woman who quit the City Council in February, began campaigning this week to lead the small city that has been beset with fiscal challenges and pondered dissolving last year.

Elizabeth LaZella, Linda Loen and Larry Dum signed up during the special filing period that ended Friday. All three candidates will be on the general election ballot in November in a winner-take-all race.

LaZella, 63, a retired respiratory therapist, is the former council member. She was appointed in June 2012 to fill a vacancy then created one when she resigned in February.

She said she stepped down because she was “tired of the flim-flam, run-around that everybody gets” and the ineffectiveness of council members to influence policy. As mayor, she said, she will be better able to make changes she considers necessary to serve the interests of residents.

Loen, 57, and Dum, could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Loen’s partner, Thomas Palmer, was the only person to sign up for a seat on the Gold Bar City Council, which had been without any candidates as well.

Palmer, 61, a painter, said he and Loen moved from Arizona in 2007. When the couple learned no one filed for the mayor and council seat they decided they would because they wanted to bring some progressive change to their community. They agreed Loen would be the one to run for mayor because she’s an accountant, he said.

The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office conducted the special candidate filing period for nine local offices, including those in Gold Bar, where no one signed up in the regular filing period in May.

In Lake Stevens, the death of fire district commissioner Vern Foster in July created an opening on the board. Foster had filed for re-election this year and was unopposed.

Eight candidates filed to succeed Foster. They are Cory Stevens, Steven Lyn Dazey, Allen Smith, Paul Gagnon, Brett Blankenship, Arlene Hulten and James Steinruck, all of Lake Stevens, and Brian McMahan of Snohomish.

Also this week, Anna Folsom signed up for the Index School Board, Lon Langdon of Arlington for the board of the Snohomish County Fire Protection District 25 in Oso and Brandon Dalke of Snohomish for the East County Parks and Recreation Commission.

When the filing period ended Friday, there remained no candidates for two seats on the Index Town Council and one on the board of the Snohomish County Fire Protection District 27.

Under state law, incumbents in those positions can remain in office through the next term. At the point any of the seats become vacant — for example if an office-holder resigned — it would be filled by appointment.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

*Correction: Three candidates are running to replace Gold Bar Mayor Joe Beavers, who declined to run for re-election. The headline on this story originally incorrectly stated the post was vacant.

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