Finalists for PUD commission are narrowed to two

EVERETT — Two people with longtime connections to local schools are the finalists to fill the vacant seat on the Snohomish County Public Utility District’s three-member commission.

Interviews with Bruce Overstreet and Sid Logan are scheduled for Thursday. The two sitting commissioners, Kathy Vaughn and Toni Olson, have until the end of March to appoint someone to the seat, which has been empty since Jan. 1, when Dave Aldrich resigned because of health problems. The clean-energy advocate died later that month. He was two years into a six-year term.

The successor selected by Vaughn and Olson will serve two years.

Voters will elect someone in 2018 to finish Aldrich’s term. The seat will be on the ballot again in 2020 on its regular six-year cycle.

Twenty-six people applied to fill Aldrich’s District 1 seat. One applicant was rejected for living outside the district, which covers the county’s northern half, as well as Everett and part of Mukilteo.

In February, Olson and Vaughn interviewed eligible candidates over three days. Each commissioner listed their top three choices. The finalists were drawn from whomever appeared on both short lists — Logan and Overstreet.

Logan spent 14 years in the oil and gas industry before going to work for the Arlington School District in 2001. He began as a driver, rising to the district’s transportation director a few years later. He spent eight years as the district’s executive director of operations before retiring in 2016, according to the resume he submitted with his application to the PUD.

In his letter of interest to the utility, he told the commissioners that he has “always been impressed by the forward thinking and the great work being done by our PUD.”

Overstreet is a longtime teacher and coach in Everett public schools.

Among the many community activities on his resume, he contributed to The Daily Herald’s Good Life section. His father, Bob Overstreet, spent three decades on the Everett City Council, and his sister, Jill McKinnie, is Snohomish County’s ombudsman.

“I feel the frustration and fear of those customers as they watch their rates continue to climb,” he said in his application.

At the same time, he said, he applauds the leadership the commissioners have shown. If appointed, he said his “primary goal is to continue the outstanding work” done by Aldrich.

Vaughn said she was looking for candidates who are willing to learn, understand policy making, are active in their communities and can bring new eyes to the PUD’s work.

During the first round of interviews, she asked each person if they believe renewable energy sources include hydroelectric, which provides the vast majority of the PUD’s energy, and if they have any objection to nuclear energy, which makes up a small slice of the utility’s energy sources. Answering ‘no’ to either would eliminate a candidate, she said.

“If you want to tear down the dams on the Columbia or Snake rivers — that’s a problem,” Vaughn said.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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