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Request to the Mill Creek City Council

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The following statement was read to the Mill Creek City Council at their regular January 2, 2018, meeting.

Hello. Last month, my request that the court disqualify Sean Kelly from the 2017 election was upheld, but my request for an order that his votes be discounted was denied on procedural grounds. Because the denial did not rule on the merits of the case, the possibility existed to make corrections and seek a new hearing. In practice, I have decided that it is in no one's best interest to extend that process.

It is my understanding, with respect for those who see the situation differently, that, starting yesterday, the Council has 90 days to fill Position #1 as a vacancy. Article 4.8 of Mill Creek's Manual of City Governance outlines a specific set of steps for selecting a candidate from an open field. However, these unusual circumstances merit unusual consideration.

Article 9.4 of the Manual states “Amendments of all or any part of these rules may be made by resolution or temporarily suspended by motion until changed, provided there is no conflict with any superior statute.”

I am asking that the Council temporarily suspend the recruitment requirements of Article 4.8 pending a vote to appoint me to the position. I am aware that this is a bold request for a bold action. Certainly, well-reasoned procedures should not be lightly set aside, but neither should the responsibility to utilize all of the rules to achieve the best outcome for the City.

This election, through no one's ill-intent, has been a fiasco. It was not transparent, and without transparency, there cannot be fairness. Without fairness, our democratic process has failed. The final opportunity to redress that failure, if you choose to do so, has now landed with the Council, and this way forward would be efficient, responsible, and amenable to residents.

One objection to this course of action could be that appointing me would subvert the will of the voters. After all, they had the opportunity to elect me and declined. However, if you're given a choice between chicken and steak for dinner, choosing chicken is not a rejection of steak! And, it's important to remember that the steak voters face a serious risk of being disenfranchised.

Another might question the necessity of this proposal, as I could also be appointed through the usual process. The advantages are saving the resources that would have to be committed to the full recruitment, and allowing us to move forward in the soonest reasonable time-frame, (a desire that I am certain we all share).

Appointing me would be a smart choice for the city. I have prepared by attending meetings throughout 2016, studying the relevant manuals and sitting for many, many hours with the biennial budget. I am capable, eager to serve, and have a diverse array of experience and perspective to offer. I would be grateful for a chance to show all of the ways I can be an asset to Mill Creek.

Carmen Fisher
Mill Creek Resident

I disagree

Just as you can not hold a re-vote to settle a disputed election, simply discarding the votes of voters should not be used to settle a disputed election.

You are quite right that what you suggest is to subvert the will of the voters.  After all there is always a winner and everybody else is alys a looser.  Even if the winner is elimnated, there are still only loosers left.  I would prefer a new election, but there is most certainly no time for that.  Based on the distribution of votes, it is likely you may not have won a contested election.

As you also stated, there is a process already in place for addresssing what has happened and I am comfortable with the process.  I personally do not find this situation to be all that unusual, since there seems to be a already estalished process to handle what has happened.  Suspension of existing rules should always be avoided.  At this point, I do not even know who is being considered in the open field.  Your actions seem to indicate that you may not be the leading candidate.

Since we have at-large council seats, there is no argument for any specific group of people being unrepresented on the council.  That is an argument for another day.

With all of that said, I did vote for you.

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