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Psst. Hey you, wanna be an elected official? This is your year | Opinion
“Would you consider running for public office?”
Every few years, We break out this old chestnut, taking the above question to the streets for our “Person on the Street” poll.
Results, as you can see to the right, vary. A little more than half the time, folks say no. But sometimes, we meet people who might step up.
This year, we tried a new tack, specifying an office, and got a couple of folks to ponder civic involvement. It’s a way to plant the seed of an idea.
If you’ve ever considered running for a local or regional office, this is your year. This odd-year election is a doozy. We’ve got races open on local cities, school boards, fire districts, and the King County Council.
Filing week starts on Monday, May 13. You can file online or by mail, before end of business on Friday, May 17. You can learn all there is to know about local filing at www.kingcounty.gov/elections/candidatefiling.aspx.
Among school races, the Snoqualmie Valley Schools’ Director District 4 is already a four-way race, while Director District 1 has one contender.
In the Riverview School District, two seats, Lori Oviatt’s Director District 1 seat, and Gregory Bawden’s district 5 seat, are up for grabs.
In Carnation, Jim Berger’s and Mike Flowers’ council seats, numbers 2 and 4, are due for election.
North Bend has three spots open, seats 2, 4 and 6, currently held by Alan Gothelf, Ross Loudenback and Jeanne Petterson.
The city of Snoqualmie will have four city council positions and the position of mayor open in the 2013 general election. Mayor Matt Larson’s term will expire on December 31, 2013. He has announced that he will run for a third term. Council positions 1, 3, 5, and 7, currently held by Bob Jeans, Bryan Holloway, Maria Henriksen, and Kathi Prewitt, respectively, also expire December 31, 2013. Three have confirmed that they will run for re-election; Henriksen will step down.
In other races, two seats are open, Kevin Hauglie’s and Dick Jones’, on the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital district commission. Parks district seats are open in Si View Metro Parks and in Fall City. Fire commissioner seats are also up in the local District 38 and on Snoqualmie Pass.
You may have to pay a fee when filing: It’s a small percentage of the annual pay that you’d get if you win election. Some elected officials get a stipend, but it’s not a real payday, more a reflection of the time or travel that can be involved.
When getting home after a tough nine-to-five, studying a budget or reflecting on tough subjects like affordable housing or emergency planning may not be the first thing on your to-do list. But local elected officials do exactly that. It’s about taking ownership of your community.
Do you have what it takes? If so, the door is open for another couple years, briefly, next week. Good luck.