Louis Harris is the newly appointed member of Mukilteo City Council. (Submitted photo)

Louis Harris is the newly appointed member of Mukilteo City Council. (Submitted photo)

Mukilteo council chooses Louis Harris to fill vacant seat

Harris, 32, was among six finalists for the seat vacated by Anna Rhorbough.

MUKILTEO — There’s a new face on the Mukilteo City Council.

Louis Harris was appointed to the council seat left vacant when Anna Rohrbough moved to California with 18 months remaining on her term.

In the final match, between Harris and Don Saul, Harris was appointed by a 4-2 vote at Monday’s meeting. He was to be sworn in at Tuesday’s council meeting via Zoom.

Harris, 32, the first black member of the Mukilteo City Council, is a benefits specialist for the state Department of Social and Health Services. Last year he was a candidate in a crowded field that included Rohrbough and Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson for a seat on the Snohomish County Council.

Harris received the Everett Elks Lodge’s Citizen of the Year Award in 2019 and was a finalist as a Herald Business Journal emerging leader in 2018. Born in Everett, he grew up in Marysville. He and his partner have lived in Mukilteo for five years.

“I am humbled to begin working with the other councilmembers, the mayor and city staff to address issues facing Mukilteo residents,” he said in an email Tuesday. “Working for (the state), in addition to my volunteer and leadership roles with several community organizations, has prepared me to be a strong voice for the residents of Mukilteo.”

Councilmembers Elisabeth Crawford, Richard Emery, Riaz Khan and Sarah Kneller chose Harris. Bob Champion and Joe Marine sided with Saul.

As mayor, Gregerson did not vote.

“He’s a great community leader with good insights and perspectives that will help,” she said Tuesday.

Alongside Harris and Saul, the other finalists for the council seat were Glen Pickus, Melanie Banfield, Tony Markey and Tina Over. The six were selected by the council from 20 applicants interviewed at a council meeting a week ago. The appointment lasts until December 2021 and pays $500 a month.

Prior to the vote, Pickus and Banfield made the cut in Monday’s discussion by councilmembers of their two or three picks following a session during which the six candidates answered questions and presented their credentials.

Saul, who had a career in IT before founding a church, serves on community boards, as does Banfield, who runs an education website for college professors. Pickus, a former Mukilteo planner, works for the city of Snohomish.

Over, a real estate broker, ran for Mukilteo City Council twice, in 2017 and 2019. Markey, a health manager, ran for a council seat in 2o16.

Councilmember Khan told the contenders for the seat, “Don’t give up. Keep on trying. One day your day will come.”

Kahn was elected to the council in 2019 after running for state and local public offices five times in five years.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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