Council to select new councilmember after July 9, 10 interview sessions

After two months, the search to find a new Lynnwood city councilmember is winding to a close. The council will conduct a series of five interviews on Tuesday, July 9 and another three on Wednesday, July 10, then vote to confirm a new councilmember.

In May, Shirley Sutton stepped down from Position 1 on the council, citing health concerns and a desire to return to her home town in Yakima. Shortly thereafter, applications were opened to members of the public interested in serving. Over 20 candidates applied to fill the vacancy. After a short pause to collect more information, councilmembers held a ranked-choice vote that narrowed the candidate pool to eight. The council is scheduled to interview the eight finalists on the following dates:

Tuesday, July 9

Ki Seung Cho
Derica Esamilla
Keton Handy
Gray Petersen
Lisa Soros

Wednesday, July 10

Lu Jiang
Bob Larsen
Simreet Dhaliwal

The interview schedule has been randomized and each applicant will have 30 minutes to answer the city council’s pre-determined interview questions. The interviews will be conducted in open session and the public is welcome to attend, watch live, or view the recording available on the city’s website the following day.  

At the conclusion of interviews on Wednesday, July 10, the council is scheduled to adjourn to a 20-minute executive session to discuss the candidates’ qualifications.  

Following the executive session, councilmembers will cast three rounds of votes. In the first round, councilmembers will express their support for their top candidate out loud. The top candidate will receive three points per councilmember vote. In the second round, councilmembers will express their support for their second candidate out loud. The second candidate will receive two points per councilmember vote. In the third round, councilmembers will express their support for their third candidate out loud. The third candidate will receive one point per councilmember vote. 

The city clerk will tally the results and identify the top three candidates. Councilmembers will then cast a final vote to select the appointee. The city clerk will ask each councilmember who their choice is. In the event no finalist receives four or more votes, the finalist with the least number of votes will be removed from the list of finalists. The process will then be repeated until a finalist receives four or more votes. The mayor will then ask for a motion to appoint that person. 

After an individual has been confirmed by the council, they will be sworn in at the next regular meeting on July 15 and join other councilmembers on the dais.

The July 9 and 10 meetings will begin at 6 p.m. in Lynnwood City Hall Council Chambers, 19100 44th Ave. W., Lynnwood. Visit for information on streaming or joining the meeting live. You can see the complete agenda for Tuesday’s meeting here and Wednesday’s meeting here.

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