By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
Mill Creek resident and registered voter Herbie Martin filed a second Snohomish County Superior Court petition regarding Mill Creek’s vacant city council seat on Friday afternoon, January 5, 2018.
He thinks the court should rule the Snohomish County Council now has the authority to appoint someone to the position.
Earlier that day Judge George Appel declined to hear Martin’s first petition because it had been improperly filed.
Martin said that because of his limited legal expertise, he inadvertently attached his petition to Carmen Fisher’s earlier court motion to rule Sean Kelly unqualified to hold office, to decertify the 2017 General Election results, and to declare her to be the winner.
On December 15th Appel gave Fisher a partial victory by ruling, “Kelly is not a resident of the City of Mill Creek and therefore is not qualified to hold City of Mill Creek Council Position #1.”
Appel denied Fisher’s effort to decertify the election results and declare her to be elected to Kelly’s city council seat “without prejudice,” which means the decision can be appealed.
However, Fisher doesn’t plan further court action.
In a January 2nd statement to the Mill Creek City Council she said although she could continue to contest the election in court, “In practice, I have decided that it is in no one's best interest to extend that process.”
Martin contends that Kelly vacated his city council seat on July 28, 2017, when he moved his primary residence outside Mill Creek city limits and that since Washington State law only gives the city council 90 days to appoint someone to fill the seat, it’s now up to the Snohomish County Council to do so.
“If Carmen Fisher had not taken action Sean Kelly would still be sitting on the Mill Creek City Council,” said Martin after the January 9th city council meeting. He said that he was determined to get a hearing because the city has not been “transparent” in communicating with the public.
The Mill Creek City Council is moving forward to make their own appointment to the vacant city council seat. They are now soliciting applications from registered voters who have lived in the city for at least one year.