EDMONDS — In November, an Edmonds City Council candidate needed thousands of votes to secure a seat on the dais. Now, they just need four.
The current council of six must sift through 12 applicants and select one to fill the spot vacated by Mayor Mike Nelson.
“I think it’s a great group of applicants,” Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas said.
Interviews are set for the middle of the month, with the hope of appointing someone before the council’s staff retreat in early February, she said.
With already six women on the council, a seventh would be the first all-female city council in Snohomish County. But Fraley-Monillas said an applicant’s gender is irrelevant.
Of the 12, several candidates have been around city hall before.
Three — Alicia Crank, Nathan Monroe and Jenna Nand — ran for council seats in November.
Crank, a YWCA fundraiser, lost to Councilmember Vivian Olson in last year’s elections but got endorsements or donations from councilmembers Fraley-Monillas, Susan Paine, Kristiana Johnson and Laura Johnson.
“I think I’m the only candidate that really talked about business issues in Edmonds,” she said.
Monroe, a civil engineer, said he still has something to offer the city.
“I had nearly 7,000 votes in the last election,” he said. “That’s a lot of folks that understand what I’m trying to get at.”
Nand, an attorney, said being bilingual and a millennial sets her apart from other candidates. Previously running for council is another bonus, she said.
“Everyone should be able to look at the council and see someone they can relate to,” she said.
Another applicant is seeking her second appointment to the city council.
Attorney Lora Petso was selected to fill a vacant seat in 2010. She won re-election in 2011 but lost to Dave Teitzel in 2015. Prior to that, she served on the council from 2000 to 2003.
Other candidates have city experience on boards and commissions.
Will Chen, an Edmonds-based certified public accountant, serves on the Citizens’ Housing Commission and is an ambassador for the chamber of commerce.
Jay Grant, chair of the 2019 Salary Commission, which gave raises to city council members and the mayor, also applied.
Deborah Binder is a nonprofit consultant, yoga instructor and monthly health columnist for MyEdmondsNews.com. Previously, she was a commissioner for the city’s historic preservation committee.
Attorney Matt Cheung is the chair of the Planning Board.
Luke Distelhorst was president of Friends of the Edmonds Library and works as a spokesperson for Community Transit.
Carreen Rubenkonig, a construction project manager, sits on the planning board.
Roger Pence, who endorsed Crank’s council run, is an alternate member on the planning board.
Tree board member Doug Petersen also applied.
The term vacated by Nelson ends in 2021. City council members are paid $13,000 per year, plus benefits. The job requires about 25 hours of work per week, Fraley-Monillas said.
“It’s not a job for the faint of heart, that’s for sure,” she said. “It’s a pretty fast-paced job so get in, hold on and get ready to roll.”
This story has been updated to correct the name of Edmonds City Council candidate Deborah Binder.