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Council narrows candidates to three

SNOQUALMIE - The Snoqualmie City Council gleaned a field of 10 council candidates to three at its last meeting.

At the City Council's Feb. 23 meeting, Susan Ranf, Katherine Prewitt and Maria Henriksen were invited to return on Mar. 8 for further interviews and a final vote. The council's meeting was proceded by a 90-minute workshop where council members interviewed applicants for the position.

Ranf, director of transportation for the Seattle Mariners, has lived in Snoqualmie since 2000. She said the council should appreciate the extensive management experience she could bring overlooking both small and large projects.

As a Planning Commission member, she is familiar with city issues and said she would not mind voting on the Snoqualmie Ridge Phase II development (SR II) that is scheduled to go before the City Council later this month.

Ranf said she supports a future community center in Snoqualmie, but thinks the city should gain more information from residents before it moves ahead.

She doesn't think her Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood address should be an issue with the council. She thinks of Snoqualmie as one community and thinks any divisiveness with the historic district is misguided since the historic community approved the new development.

"When I first saw Snoqualmie, I wanted to be part of that community," she said. "I like living in a small town."

Prewitt is a business manager for Home Street Capital who has lived in Snoqualmie for five years and currently serves on the city's Library Board. She lives in the historic district of Snoqualmie, a part of town she said needs representation in a council manned by four Snoqualmie Ridge residents.

"They [historic Snoqualmie] need a voice from downtown," Prewitt said.

Prewitt has reservations about voting on the SR II project given the amount of information she would have to become familiar with to vote and stated that she would more than likely be recused.

She also supports a future community center in Snoqualmie, but thinks the plan needs to be revisited in light of the challenging economic times ahead for the city.

"Voters have made it clear they don't want to pay more taxes," Prewitt said.

Henriksen, a five-year Snoqualmie resident who serves on the Parks Board, said she will also likely recuse herself from a vote on SR II and would also like to get more citizen input on the future of a community center.

Fiscal responsibility for the city should be a top priority, said Henriksen, a retired business manager.

Although she is a resident of the Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood, Henriksen doesn't think that should be an issue when the council considers who they will vote for. She moved to the city because she liked everything about it, not just Snoqualmie Ridge.

"I see the city as a whole," Henriksen said.

The three are vying for a seat left vacant by Jay Rodne, who resigned in January to fill a state representative seat vacated by Cheryl Pflug. The term expires at the end of 2005.

At its workshop prior to the Mar. 8 meeting, the council will ask the candidates more questions and then will likely meet in an executive session. After the regular meeting starts, a council member can make a motion to appoint one of the candidates. Once a motion is approved by a majority vote, the candidate will be sworn in immediately and take their seat on the council.

Since there are four members on the council, Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher could cast a tie-breaking vote.

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