Deadline Dec. 31 to apply for open City Council seat

If you have a burning desire to sit on the Edmonds City Council, here’s your chance. The council has started the process of filling the seat vacated when Councilmember Peggy Pritchard Olson died earlier this month.

Council President DJ Wilson said that on paper, the requirements are pretty simple: You must be at least 18 years old, a registered voter and live in the city of Edmonds. In reality, getting the job is a bit more complicated. All applicants will be interviewed by the City Council the evening of Jan. 12, then finalists will appear at a subsequent Council meeting where the entire council will vote, in public, on their preferred choice.

The first candidate to receive a four-vote majority wins, and that isn’t always an easy task. The last time there was a vacant council seat, following the resignation of Deanna Dawson in 2008, the council went through 37 ballots — all in one evening — before Strom Peterson received the necessary four votes to win the seat.

One name frequently mentioned as a front-runner for the seat is retired banker Diane Buckshnis, who lost to Peterson in the most recent Council election. “Diane is a great candidate, and I could see myself supporting her,” Wilson said. Another candidate in the Nov. 3 election, attorney Priya Cloutier, had been urged by supporters to apply after losing to Councilmember Michael Plunkett. However, Cloutier recently announced on her Facebook page that she would not be seeking the seat after determining that she couldn’t receive a four-vote council majority.

It’s uncertain what the final field of candidates will look like, as applicants “usually throw in their names at the last minute,” Wilson added.

Those aspiring to council office can pick up an application at City Hall, and all applications are due by Dec. 31.

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