EVERETT — Voters made history Tuesday in the Everett City Council’s first general election with districts, ushering in a wave of first-time elected officials to create policies and approve the budget.
After years of familiar faces on the city council, it appeared set to welcome four new members, thanks to districts.
And if the totals hold, five councilmembers will be women, on a council that previously had more men.
Amid the new era for city council, the executive’s office likely will have the same leadership.
Cassie Franklin cruised to another four years as mayor over challenger Steve Oss.
And in the Port of Everett commissioner race, an incumbent was holding onto his position.
Early returns showed 13,241 ballots cast in the city. In past elections when all Everett City Council positions were citywide, most races saw around 16,000 votes. An election for Position 4 a few years ago drew a high mark of over 30,000 ballots.
Everett City Council
Of two incumbents seeking re-election, only Liz Vogeli was leading in her race. Vogeli had 51.6% against Tommie Rubatino in District 4.
Mary Fosse had 57.7% of District 1’s ballots and was in position to replace Paul Roberts, a four-term council member.
The only other council members with past experience in elected public office are Brenda Stonecipher and Judy Tuohy.
In the District 2 race, Paula Rhyne was ahead of Greg Lineberry with 52.1%.
Don Schwab had secured 77.5% of votes to represent neighborhoods in District 3.
Ben Zarlingo was poised to join the city council with 60.7% for the District 5 position over Demi Chatters.
Council candidates said they aimed to address the budget, climate change, homelessness, housing affordability and public safety.
Franklin, who previously served as a nonprofit executive and city councilmember, was the first woman to be elected mayor in 2017. She won that race with 44.7% in a close contest against Tuohy, who was also on the council at the time.
This year’s race was not much of a contest, as 73.55% of ballots supported Franklin. She said she wants to use federal coronavirus relief funds for child care and to house unsheltered people, and called on the council to put a levy lid lift measure on an upcoming ballot.
“I’m obviously very pleased with the initial results,” Franklin said. “It was very much a nail-biter four years ago, and four years ago we didn’t have confirming results.”
Port of Everett
The position has a six-year term on a three-member commission that creates policies. The commission oversees the state’s third-largest port and its $61 million budget.