4 want to help lead Mill Creek

MILL CREEK — Two seats on the Mill Creek City Council will be up for grabs when voters go to the polls next month.

Mike Todd, who currently holds City Council Position 6, is hoping to defend his seat against Ed McNichol, an employee at the University of Washington in Seattle.

In the race for Council Position 5, Microsoft team manager Mark Harmsworth is running against Chuck Wright, a retired probation and parole officer. The council seat is currently held by Dale Hensley, who is not seeking re-election.

Mill Creek City Council members are paid a monthly stipend of $500 to oversee the city of 17,060 people. The mayor is paid $700 each month. Every two years, the seven-member City Council elects a mayor and mayor pro tem from its members. The mayor serves as the chairman of the council, with the city manager overseeing the day-to-day business at City Hall.

Todd, 53, said his experience on the council is a benefit to people who live in the city.

He said Mill Creek has experienced massive growth over the years and that the city is in need of a senior center, more sports playfields and other amenities. The city has also developed significant traffic problems, Todd said.

“I view those as things I’d like to work on over the next four years, some of those infrastructure pieces,” Todd said.

Todd’s opponent, Ed McNichol, 44, said people have told him they’d like to see more police in their neighborhoods and that they’d like to see something done to control growth and traffic congestion.

People also feel shut out by government, and McNichol said he wants to change that. Posting meeting agendas online and making it easier for people to contact council members would be a good start, he said.

“Really, the race is about giving people voice,” McNichol said. “What I hear from residents is that people are not asking them what’s important to them, and they feel disconnected. I seek to repair that.”

In the race for Council Position 5, Mark Harmsworth, 38, said he wants to focus on creating safer neighborhoods, managing growth around Mill Creek and promoting new business growth in the city. Both he and Wright, his opponent, are co-chairmen of the Seattle Hill Road Citizens Advisory Group.

If elected, Harmsworth said he’d push to hold Snohomish County accountable for construction happening just outside the city. He also wants to make sure police and firefighters receive adequate funding.

“Being a team manager at Microsoft, I have to bring strong personalities to the table to solve problems, and I think that would benefit the council,” Harmsworth said.

Wright, 62, hasn’t served on the council, but he has served on the city’s police advisory board, the planning commission and the library board. He sits on the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Advisory Board, and he’s also on the sheriff’s murder cold-case team.

Wright also believes the city needs to be proactive to regulate traffic and growth, and he said the city could form a partnership with a citizens group to build a senior center. The city could use the Internet to provide more open access to residents, much like The Herald keeps in touch with readers using a large e-mail network, he said.

“I’m a firm believer after using (The Herald’s) process that we could use that model very effectively in Mill Creek,” Wright said.

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or spesznecker@heraldnet.com.

Mill Creek City Council

Position 5

Mark Harmsworth

Age: 38

Occupation: Team manager at Microsoft

Hometown: Mill Creek

Web site: www.markharmsworth.com

Chuck Wright

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired from 30 years as a probation/parole officer

Hometown: Mill Creek

Web site: home.earthlink.net/~voteforchuck

Position 6

Ed McNichol

Age: 44

Occupation: Post-production supervisor at University of Washington in Seattle

Hometown: Mill Creek

Web site: edMcNichol.com

Mike Todd

Age: 53

Occupation: Retired engineering and marketing manager

Hometown: Mill Creek

Web site: www.millcreekmike.com

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