GOLD BAR — Mayor Lee Hodo isn’t seeking re-election this fall but he may be keeping the job anyway.
That’s because no one in Gold Bar filed to run for mayor in last month’s sign-up period for candidates.
As a result, the Snohomish County Auditor will have a special filing period from Aug 2-4 in which residents get another opportunity to enter the contest to be the next leader of the 2,100-person town.
But if no hopefuls surface, county officials say Hodo would remain in the job until the next city election in two years.
“Hopefully there will be somebody who steps up to take over,” Hodo said last week. “I don’t think there will be any problem. I think we’ll be okay.”
Meanwhile, people displayed a similar disinterest toward City Council service as no candidates filed for three of the four seats up for election this year.
Councilman Brian Diaz did and he’s unopposed. Councilmembers John Dawson and Florence Martin did not file for re-election though they can still do so in the special August filing period. The other seat is currently vacant.
Hodo joined the City Council in 2013. When Mayor Linda Loen resigned in March 2016, he agreed to take the reins though he said he didn’t plan to run for the job this year.
“I’m 85 years old. I need to attend to other things,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Gold Bar lacked candidates for its city leadership.
In 2013, Mayor Joe Beavers announced he would serve out his term but not run again. No candidates filed in May to succeed him. In a special filing period that August, three people did sign up including Loen. She captured 54 percent of the vote in November to win the seat.
Neither Hodo nor Diaz said they knew of any controversies deterring residents from getting involved, certainly nothing like the turmoil a few years ago when fiscal challenges prompted city leaders to contemplate disincorporating.
“We don’t have any problems, thank goodness. Everything is about as smooth as one could want it to be,” Hodo said. “It seems like those in the Gold Bar community have never been really motivated, unless the water rate is going up or something else is hitting their pocket book.”
Elsewhere in the county, no one filed to run for a fire commissioner seat in Snohomish County Fire District 26 or an at-large position on the board of the East County Park &Recreations District. Anyone interested in those positions will be able to sign up in the special filing period in August.