Eleven Edmonds citizens have applied to fill the vacancy on the City Council created by the death of Peggy Pritchard Olson.
The city accepted applications through the end of December. The six current council members are scheduled to interview candidates Jan. 12, with a vote scheduled for Jan. 19.
It was just a year ago that the council was in a similar situation when it took more than 30 ballots in a five-and-a-half-hour meeting before choosing current Councilman Strom Peterson to replace former Councilwoman Deanna Dawson.
The 11 applicants:
• Outgoing Councilman Ron Wambolt, who lost after a hand recount in the August primary to former Councilwoman Lora Petso and incoming Councilwoman Adrienne Fraley-Monillas;
• Former Councilwoman and current Olympic View Water Commissioner Petso, who lost to Fraley-Monillas in November and says she would be the one council member representing residents south of 220th;
• Diane Buckshnis, who lost in November to Peterson;
• Alvin Rutledge, who lost decisively to Buckshnis and Peterson in the August primary and lost a previous run for council;
• Roger Hertrich, a former city councilman;
• Staci Gardea, a former member of the Edmonds transportation and parking committees who works at Edmonds Woodway Mortgage Company;
• Michael Young, chef and owner of Olives Café and Wine Bar in downtown Edmonds, a candidate who says that he would represent average citizens;
• Kerry Ayers, a project manager with the Edmonds Schools, executive director of the Edmonds Community Foundation, treasurer of the Edmonds sister-city commission and a member of the economic development commission;
• David Freese, a tax and bankruptcy attorney;
• Charles LaNasa, a county marine resources commissioner, former member of the Edmonds library board and the one candidate who said he was unlikely to run in the coming election; and
• Laura Spehar, an environmental educator and member of the Edmonds sister-city commission, an applicant who says that she is uncertain about running in the coming election.
The successful candidate would serve until the November 2011 election, filling the remainder of the term to which Pritchard Olson was elected in 2007.*
When the council selected Peterson last year, Councilman Steve Bernheim said that he couldn’t support Peterson because voters had rejected him.
When I asked Bernheim Monday if he wouldn’t support someone who had lost at the polls, he said that isn’t true, saying simply, “Whoever the majority votes for is appointed, regardless of past election results.”
*Correction, Jan. 6, 2010: This article originally used an incorrect date for when the appointee would need to run for office.
Evan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.