Fair to give up school board seat for Edmonds bench

  • Bill Sheets<br>For the Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:56am

Douglas Fair, a member of the Edmonds School Board, a pro-tem judge and former Snohomish County deputy prosecutor, has been named to replace Jim White as Edmonds Municipal Court judge on an interim basis.

Fair, 46, was appointed to the post Tuesday, July 26 by Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson, who said Fair was on vacation in Canada when he offered him the position. Edmonds City Council unanimously confirmed the nomination Tuesday night.

On Friday, White, 49, of Edmonds pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to a single count of felony money laundering. He resigned his post as Edmonds judge effective that day.

Also leaving will be two pro-tem municipal-court judges appointed by White. Today, July 29, is the last day of work at the Edmonds court for Tom Buchmeier and John Rongerude.

Fair, an Edmonds resident, is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, former president of the Snohomish County Bar Association, and worked in the Snohomish County prosecutor’s office until 1997.

Fair has worked part-time as a pro-tem judge in South County District Court and Edmonds and Lynnwood municipal courts, and as a hearing examiner in Snohomish County.

He and his wife, Ellen, a Snohomish County Superior Court judge, have two children.

Fair also has served on the Snohomish County Children’s Commission and the Edmonds Community College Foundation board, and was an adviser for Citizens for Schools, a nonprofit group that helps pass bonds and levies for Edmonds schools.

He was elected to represent District 1 in the Edmonds School Board in 2003. He told Haakenson and schools Superintendent Nick Brossoit he would resign the post to assume the Edmonds judgeship. District 1 represents the southwestern-most portion of the school district, including parts of Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Woodway.

Although his resignation from the school board is not official, district spokeswoman Debbie Jakala said the board anticipates receiving a letter when Fair returns.

When board members resign mid-term, the district has 90 days from the declaration of vacancy to appoint a new member to fulfill the uncompleted term. Fair’s term was set to expire in November 2007.

Fair will serve out White’s current term, which expires at the end of the year, Haakenson said. He said the city is considering restructuring the judge position, either dissolving the court and sending its cases to South District Court, or making the position an elected one. Haakenson also has the option of reappointing the sitting judge – or appointing a new one — at year’s end.

Enterprise writers Jennifer Aaby and Sue Waldburger contributed to this article.

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