This year is an election year, and many local city government terms are expiring. The Valley is quickly changing, and from what I can tell, most residents have opinions about the changes, both good and bad. With so many opinions floating around out there on how things should be done, why is it that filling positions, or finding multiple people to run for a seat, is so difficult?
So you have an opinion? You would do things differently? You’re not happy with a current elected official? (Doing my best George Bush Sr. impersonation) Read my lips: Run for office!
In North Bend, both Jim Gildersleeve and Fred Rappin have said they will not run again. So there are two open City Council seats to fill, and it is almost a necessity to have multiple candidates from which to select. I have heard many residents complain they don’t like having a council loaded with residents of Forster Woods. Well then, let’s see some folks from Silver Creek or Si View or downtown run.
And there are other opportunities for volunteers, as well. North Bend’s Economic Development Committee has openings, as does its Planning Commission. If you are interested in any of the positions in North Bend, you can contact the city at (425) 888-1211.
One segment of the population that is dependent on the right people being in office for their cause is business owners. It is unfortunate that people who invest much of their time, energy and money into the city for the purposes of running their business cannot run if they do not live in the city limits. So my suggestion to those in North Bend businesses currently unhappy with the way things are going is to find a candidate in the city limits and support his or her election efforts. Or step up and take the positions on the EDC or Planning Commission, both of which can be filled by residents from outside the city limits.
In Snoqualmie there are four positions expiring this year. The mayoral seat, held by Fuzzy Fletcher; Position 1, held by Colleen Johnson; Position 3, held by Frank Lonergan; and Position 5, held by Cathy Reed. It is unknown if all of these candidates are running for re-election, but that shouldn’t stop those interested from running against them.
Snoqualmie is changing dramatically and the base of population is shifting. I’m sure that several potential candidates are considering running who are residents of Snoqualmie Ridge. This is their chance to shape the future direction of the city. But wouldn’t it be better to also have some congruency with historic downtown?
Regardless, multiple candidates are again the best option when it comes time to vote. Evaluate the candidates whose terms are expiring. Did they do the right thing, invest their time, and were they up-to-date on all the issues? The City Council’s and the mayor’s jobs are not something to be taken lightly. To be good it requires a lot of reading, preparation before each council meeting and a willingness to find “win-win” solutions. You canOt hope to just show up at a council meeting, glance at the council packet and make informed decisions. It doesn’t happen that way (or shouldn’t).
The city also has an open position on the Arts Commission if you feel a council position is too much of a commitment. If you are interested in running for a council position or the Arts commission position, contact Jodi Warren at (425) 888-1555 for more information.
Carnation also has a few positions opening with the terms of Laurie Clinton and Joan Sharpe both expiring this year. Even if both candidates decide to run for re-election, it would be better to have multiple candidates from which to choose. Again, if you have issues or concerns about the direction of Carnation, run for office. If you are interested in learning more about the positions in Carnation, contact the city offices at (425) 333-4192.
Council positions typically have some type of yearly salary associated with them. It is not likely to cover all the time necessary to do the job well, but it is something. I wouldn’t suggest anyone run because of the money.
Some basic requirements exist for each council position. You must be a registered voter within the city in which you are running. A candidate must have lived in the city for one year prior to the election. The week of July 23-27 is when candidate filings will be accepted.
Now is the time to get involved. There are many changes happening, and all of the local cities need continued leadership.