Edmonds Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

Who will lead Edmonds in the near future?


Last updated 1/17/2019 at Noon

Diane Buckshnis said she will run for re-election to City Council this year.

Editor's note: Councimember Mike Nelson on Thursday, Jan. 17, announced that he will run for mayor of Edmonds. Mayor Dave Earling's second term is up at the end of the year.

The makeup of the people in power in Edmonds – those who make decisions that can affect the quality of your life – could change in November.

Or not.

Although the first official day for candidates to file for election for the Aug. 6 primary isn’t until May 13, with May 17 the deadline, it’s never too early for incumbents and challengers to announce their intentions in serving the public.

Just look at the multitude of Democrats already committed to campaign for president in 2020.

Closer to home, there are five positions to be decided this year – for mayor and for four City Council seats.

Mayor Dave Earling’s second term is up this year, as are those for Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis, Tom Mesaros, Neil Tibbott and Dave Teitzel. (The terms of Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Councilmembers Mike Nelson and Kristiana Johnson expire Dec. 31, 2021.)

So far, at the Beacon’s request, only Council President Pro Tem Buckshnis has announced that she will run for re-election to retain her Position 4 seat on the council. As of press time, Mesaros and Teitzel say they haven’t made their decisions yet.

“Yes, until those shovels start digging Willow Creek and move into the marsh,” Buckshnis said in reply to her candidacy. “I hope to stay on council as my campaign promise has always been being a voice for the environment.”

The general election is Nov. 5.

Buckshnis ran for Position 2 in 2009 but was defeated by Strom Peterson, who is now a state representative for the 21st District, representing Edmonds. She was then appointed to fill Position 4 in January 2010 after the death of Councilmember Peggy Pritchard Olson.

She ran to maintain her seat in 2011 and won, defeating Bob Wilcox. She retained her seat in 2015, running unopposed.

A retired banker/auditor and regulator, Buckshnis retired in 2005 and helped establish the nonprofit Off-Leash Area Edmonds dog park. She also spent five years as a director for the Edmonds Art Festival and she and her husband initiated the first recycling program in 2005.

Mesaros was appointed to Position 6 on the City Council on March 11, 2014, after the retirement of Councilmember Frank Yamamoto, to fill a vacant unexpired term that ended in November 2015.

Mesaros maintained his seat, running unopposed. He was council president in 2017.

During his professional career, Mesaros has been an executive leader in nonprofit management. He was president and CEO of the Alford Group, a national firm specializing in consulting to the nonprofit community, until 2014.

Tibbott was elected to City Council Position 7 in 2015, defeating incumbent Lora Petso. He previously served on the City’s Planning Commission.

His background includes organizing and developing nonprofit organizations. He has worked in over two dozen cities around the Puget Sound region studying demographics, population trends, and historic patterns. He holds advanced degrees in urban studies and advocates for citizen involvement in cities.

Teitzel beat Alicia Crank in 2015 and is serving his first term.

He is a retired Qwest Communications executive with experience in budgeting, marketing, and public policy. His volunteerism includes work with the Jacob’s Well housing facility for homeless mothers, the King County Guardian Ad Litem program for abused/neglected children, children’s ministry, and the Sno/King youth sports organization. He is also past president of the Woodway Highlands Homeowners’ Association.

Earling defeated incumbent Mike Cooper in 2011 to win his first term as mayor.

He won his second four-year term in 2015. He ran unopposed.

In 1997, Earling fell short to Jo-Anne Jaech in a close race for a seat on the Edmonds City Council. Four years later, Earling was victorious, defeating former councilmember Dick Van Hollebeke after Jaech decided not to run again.

Earling would go to win two more terms. He served on the council from 1992 to 2003, and was its president for five of those years.

In 2003, Earling entered a race for Snohomish County Executive, but lost to Aaron Reardon in a close race.

Reardon resigned in 2013 after allegations of financial mismanagement and having an extramarital affair.


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