MILL CREEK — A City Councilman re-elected in a blowout earlier this month no longer lives in town, Snohomish County elections officials have decided.
Mill Creek Councilman Sean Kelly told the Canvassing Board on Friday that he spends most of his time at a house in Snohomish he bought this summer, county elections manager Garth Fell said. Kelly also owns a home in Mill Creek. The testimony came during a hearing triggered by a voter-registration challenge that Kelly’s election opponent filed against him.
“He said he’s either at that house or at the home of a friend,” Fell said.
The board upheld the challenge. That will invalidate any votes in the Nov. 7 election that Kelly would have been ineligible to cast at his Snohomish address, including Mill Creek City Council contests.
Kelly garnered 71.4 percent of the general election ballots. His challenger, first-time candidate Carmen Fisher, finished 1,606 votes behind him.
What to do about Kelly’s council seat will be up to other elected officials in Mill Creek.
Fisher, in an email, said she hopes to assume the Position 1 seat as “the candidate who received the most legal votes.”
“What I would most like from the council at that point is a warm welcome, a smooth transition and lots of advice on how to do the best job!” she wrote.
Mayor Pam Pruitt said Saturday she had yet to receive any official notice from the county. Pruitt said she hadn’t spoken to Kelly since the decision.
“At the appropriate time the council will take the appropriate action,” she said. “Right now, I don’t know what that is.”
City administrators in Mill Creek plan to consult with their attorney after receiving an official decision from the county, city spokeswoman Joni Kirk said.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 28, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Questions about where Kelly lives surfaced in the weekly Mill Creek Beacon in September. Fisher filed the residency challenge in late October.
A written order from the county could be finalized as soon as Monday, when the Canvassing Board is scheduled to reconvene. The board comprises Auditor Carolyn Weikel, County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright and chief civil deputy prosecuting attorney Jason Cummings.
Kelly won his first council term four years ago. He works as an aerospace systems engineer and has experience as a project manager.
In the voters pamphlet, Fisher said she has a law degree, but listed no specific work history.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @NWhaglund.