Edmonds City Council conducts first round of interviews to fill vacancy

Deborah Anderson makes a point as she responds to questions from the council.  Anderson is currently Executive Director of the Edmonds Public School and Alumni Foundation.

Deborah Anderson makes a point as she responds to questions from the council. Anderson is currently Executive Director of the Edmonds Public School and Alumni Foundation.

Kathleen Dewhirst is a former educator and Chair of the Snohomish County chapter of the Washington Conservation Voters.

Kathleen Dewhirst is a former educator and Chair of the Snohomish County chapter of the Washington Conservation Voters.

Update to list of those to be called back for second interviews.

On Tuesday evening, the Edmonds City Council conducted back-to-back interviews with all 14 remaining applicants for the current council vacancy (one applicant withdrew prior to these interviews).

Each candidate had 15 minutes to make an opening statement and respond to a series of questions from the council, with individual councilmembers asking essentially the same question of each candidate. The questions touched on building heights, public involvement, the budget process and improving council/city staff relations.

At the conclusion of the interviews, each councilmember chose two candidates to invite for a second round of interviews to be conducted Feb. 4. The following candidates have been asked for second interviews: Thomas W. Mesaros, Kathleen Dewhirst, Harry Gatjens, Tim Healy, Carreen Nordling Rubenkonig, Stephen Schroeder  and Neil Tibbot.

According to Council President Diane Buckshnis, all candidates will remain in the running whether or not invited back for a second interview. Because several candidates are well known in the community through high-profile civic activities, prior campaigns for office, etc., the second interview will serve to level the playing field by giving councilmembers a chance to better “get to know” candidates of whom they have less prior knowledge.

The final vote to select a new councilmember to fill the current vacancy is scheduled for Feb. 11.

The City of Edmonds code precludes Mayor Dave Earling from being part of the voting process.

You can see all of the applications here.

– Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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