Everett City Council May Prohibit Members From Holding Multiple Paid Elected Offices

December 3, 2023

Everett, Everett Government

Editor’s Update Tue 12/05/2023 10:30 AM: The ordinance would not go into effect until after the 2025 election for Mayor and multiple City Council positions. Here is a link to the ordinance as it will be presented Wednesday night.

Everett City Council

Mayor Cassie Franklin and the Everett City Council.

Saying she feels residents of the City of Everett and its City Council members would be better served if elected officials were focused on one elected office instead of two or more, Everett City Council President Brenda Stonecipher is bringing an ordinance forward this Wednesday night to restrict future City of Everett elected City Council members from holding multiple paid elected offices.

Currently District 1 City Council representative Mary Fosse is also serving as State Representative in the 38th District which covers Everett, Washington. A position she won after Mike Sells decided to retire. That position is partisan but her Everett City Council Position is non-partisan.

In comments Wednesday introducing the idea and asking for a second, President Stonecipher said last year the Everett City Council was able to make it work by having members fill in for Fosse at local events and meetings when she was busy in Olympia. She expressed concern if more than one city council member served multiple elected positions that process may not work.

Stonecipher said this would apply only to paid elected positions and not things like precinct committee officers. Also it would have no bearing on elected officials in Everett, Washington (which are the Mayor, City Council members and Everett Municipal Court Judges) serving in government employment positions that are appointive. For example, Paula Rhyne in Everett City Council District 2 is Legislative Aide to Snohomish County Council District 2 member Megan Dunn. In her work at Snohomish County Rhyne is appointed, not elected.

City Council member Ben Zarlingo from District 5 seconded President Stonecipher’s request for an ordinance. The first reading would be this Wednesday and a council vote would be scheduled for December 20th.

You can watch the full explanation from President Stonecipher by clicking on the YouTube link below.

As of this writing the proposed ordinance had not been posted to the City Council agenda. We’ll attach a copy when has been posted.

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