7 seek Harmsworth’s Mill Creek council seat

MILL CREEK — Seven candidates are vying for an open seat on the City Council, and members Tuesday will interview them during a public meeting. The council might make a decision immediately after the interviews.

Mark Harmsworth resigned his Position 5 seat last month after being elected to the state House of Representatives.

Harmsworth was also the mayor pro-tem. The council last week elected Brian Holtzclaw to serve as mayor pro-tem until Dec. 31.

Now the council needs to appoint someone to fill Harmsworth’s unexpired term. He or she will serve until the results of the November election are certified. The appointee would have to run for election to serve beyond 2015.

Among those vying for the appointment is Zach Anders, a Jackson High senior who is a school leader and editor of the student newspaper. At 18, Anders is the youngest-ever candidate for Mill Creek City Council.

Unlike his competitors, Anders said, he is able to offer the council the perspective of a younger constituency that is often under-represented in politics. He chairs the city’s arts and beautification board. He has worked as an organizer for school bonds and levies and is a legislative liaison for the Everett School District. He also writes for the Mill Creek Beacon newspaper and volunteers in the community.

Also among the fresh faces who have applied for the appointment is S. Michelle Racioppo, a retired IBM manager.

Wil Nelson has worked as an engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and in private industry.

Other applicants are familiar faces in Mill Creek City Council politics.

Lynn Sordel is a previous appointee who in a later election lost to Sean Kelly, in 2013. Sordel works for the city of Lynnwood as director of parks, recreation and cultural arts. He serves as president of the Lynnwood Parks and Recreation Foundation. He’s also involved in local economic development projects.

Another aspirant is Herbie Martin, who ran for council but lost in the 2013 primary election. Martin, a retired U.S. Army sergeant first class, spent much of his career in military law enforcement and working for the state Department of Social and Health Services. Martin is involved with the state Labor Council and the North Seattle College diversity committee.

Another unsuccessful candidate in that 2013 primary is Douglas Carlson, a retired government scientist.

Vincent Cavaleri, a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputy, is also taking another shot at getting on the council. He unsuccessfully ran in the 2009 election.* He has experience as a union negotiator and previously served on the city Parks and Recreation Board. He coaches sports and is a community volunteer.

All seven of the candidates’ application materials are posted on the city’s website. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @AmyNileReports.

Correction, Jan. 29, 2015: Cavaleri lost his 2009 bid for the City Council in the general election. An earlier version of this story reported that he lost in the primary.

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