Eight candidates remain in the running to replace Tina Budell on the Kent City Council.
They are Hira Singh Bhullar, Suzanne Cameron, Lee Ann Dickson, Sara Franklin, Marli Larimer, Zandria Michaud, Mizanur Rahman and Bill Shorr, according to a city of Kent news release. Budell resigned April 13 after two years in office to take a new job in Chicago.
The remaining six council members met in executive session on Tuesday to narrow the list of 36 candidates based on applications. One applicant withdrew her name last weekend.
Council members were scheduled to interview the eight finalists at a special meeting May 8 at City Hall, but that has been changed, according to city officials. The date for interviews has not been set but will most likely be in June.
Bhullar lost a council race against Budell in November 2015. Budell had 62 percent of the vote to 37 percent for Bhullar.
State law does not set out any specific procedure to replace council members except that the council must act to fill the position within 90 days.
The new council member will serve until an election for the position in November 2019. The appointed council member also will be eligible to run for the position. The elected individual would take office as soon as the election is certified. Budell had just under two years remaining on her four-year term.
The council establishes law and policy by passing ordinances and resolutions. Each council member receives a monthly salary of $1,265.
Here are brief bios on the finalists from their council applications:
• Bhullar: Senior software developer at Starbucks in Seattle. Board member of Kent Youth and Family Services, Khalsa Gurmat Center, Kent YMCA and Kent Schools Foundation. Reference list includes Budell.
“I will help Kent thrive by making our diversity a strength, find creative ways to generate more revenue for the city, creating good jobs that support families, improving transportation, making every neighborhood safe and increasing access to local government.”
• Cameron: President of Around the Clock, Inc., in Kent, a property management company. Board member of Kent Downtown Partnership. Previous vice president of Kent Chamber of Commerce.
“I know Kent is facing difficult financial challenges and I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and help find practical solutions to resolve them.”
• Dickson: Senior construction project manager in Seattle for Nordstrom Rack stores. Past president of Lake Meridian Community Association.
“I can support existing strategies, bring fresh new ideas and inspiration and advance programs that benefit the citizens of Kent.”
• Franklin: Administrative assistant for King County Department of Assessments in Seattle. Member of City of Kent Cultural Communities Board, NAC -Nonprofit Assistance Center, Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities and Washington State Commission on African American Affairs.
“I am highly motivated and resourceful advocating for and partnering with all communities to identify issues and find solutions in a collaborative manner.”
• Larimer: Digital product manager for Starbucks. Community experience includes treasurer for Soos Creel Elementary PTA and troop leader for Girl Scouts of Western Washington.
“I want to leverage our diversity, our beautiful parks, our public spaces, our growing arts community, even our hops-growing history to reinvigorate Kent.”
• Michaud: Current University of Washington, Tacoma student pursuing an American studies major and global engagement honors minor with a focus on politics and critical studies. Member of Kent Parks and Recreation board, Park steward for Green Kent.
“I know I can bring valuable insight and critical thought to conversations surrounding the tough challenges and opportunities Kent faces.”
• Rahman: Senior capital project manager, King County Wastewater Division. President of Islamic Center of Kent, member of Kent Community Policing Task Force, vice-chair of Kent Cultural Communities Board, founding coordinator of East Hill-Meridian Neighborhood Council.
“I am eager to utilize my accumulated knowledge, expertise and community services skills in overall policy development and legislative spectrum of city administrative affairs for the benefit of the residents of our city.”
• Shorr: Retired after long business career in kitchen and bath services for Home Depot, Eagle Hardware and Sears. Member of Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority communications support team. Has regularly attended City Council meetings for past two years. Helped lead drive in 2016 to stop city from selling Pine Tree Park.
“I am adamant in my belief that to be effective, the council must ultimately reach out to the population with one unified voice. Although there is diversity among the council members, a representative city government needs to operate as a cohesive team in order to govern effectively.”