Edmonds Councilmember Plunkett joins PUD race

  • <br>Enterprise staff
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:37am

With the late filing by Edmonds City Councilman Michael Plunkett, the race for Position 2 on the Snohomish County PUD Board of Commissioners is now a three-way contest that will show up on the primary ballot.

Residents within the Position 2 jurisdiction — generally north to Mukilteo, south to the Snohomish-King counties line, west to Puget Sound and east to I-5 — will vote in the primary; the top two vote-getters will advance to the general election and the winner chosen by all voters within the PUD coverage area.

The post is a non-partisan one and basic compensation is $1,300 per month.

Trying for a third term is incumbent Kathy Vaughn of Lynnwood, the senior-most commissioner on the three-person PUD board. Her second six-year term ends in December.

Vaughn is the owner of Goldmark Financial Corporation, a Snohomish County mortgage company, and co-owner with her husband of a construction firm. Among her community activities is service on the executive board of Energy Northwest.

Asked to name her priorities as a PUD board member, Vaughn ticked off the following: Continuing the work to get energy rates down; the appeal by Enron of the judgment against it involving regional utilities, including the Snohomish County PUD, which she said likely will be resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court; and infrastructure needs of the county.

Opposing her will be Eric Teegarden of Mountlake Terrace. A traffic engineer for the city of Seattle, he also owns and operates a small landscaping business, according to his election Web site.

Teegarden said in a press release the primary reason he is running is to pursue contract renegotiation to lower PUD bills for rate payers. He also indicated his intention to work to create more incentives for conservation and wind and solar power supplied by homes and businesses.

Plunkett is an agent with the Windermere Real Estate office in Lynnwood. He has been elected to the Edmonds City Council three times.

Plunkett said he supports I-937, known as the Clean Energy Initiative, because demand for energy is expected to rise by 15 percent over the next 15 years and the region’s hydroelectric resources are at full capacity. “Without this initiative I do not believe Snohomish PUD will be aggressive enough on low-cost renewable energy,” he stated in a press release.

Plunkett said he believes he can handle commissioner responsibilities, which include two full-day meetings a month plus other meetings and conferences, without neglecting his council duties.

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