By David Pan 

Louis Harris appointed to City Council

Newest councilmember previously ran for Snohomish County Council

 

Last updated 6/24/2020 at 11:37am

Louis Harris

Louis Harris, a public benefit specialist with the state's Department of Social and Health Services, emerged as the top candidate to fill the Mukilteo City Council Position No. 1 vacancy.

Harris, who unsuccessfully ran for Snohomish County Council in 2019, defeated Jericho Bridge Church pastor Don Saul 4-2 in the second round of voting by the City Council Monday, June 22. Harris was scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday night. He replaces former councilmember Anna Rohrbough, who resigned prior to moving with her family to California last month.

Council President Richard Emery, Vice-President Sarah Kneller and Councilmembers Riaz Kahn and Elisabeth Crawford voted for Harris, while Councilmembers Joe Marine and Bob Champion voted for Saul. In the first round of voting, Crawford supported Melanie Banfield, who runs a website for college professors and served as chairperson for the Rosehill Community Center Board. Crawford, who subsequently threw her support behind Harris, was the only councilmember to change her vote in the second round.


"I'm just humbled because I do believe that we as a body can do some great things for Mukilteo residents," Harris said after the vote. "I'm just looking forward to learning from all of you and understanding how I can best serve in this role."

Harris' term will run through Dec. 31, 2021.

Kneller praised both Harris and Saul as well-versed in the issues Mukilteo faces.

"They're very open, and I feel like I could have a very candid, honest and respectful conversation with either of them and know, even if we disagree in the end, it still would be a productive conversation. So I have a lot of respect for both of the candidates in that regard."


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The difference was when she looked at some of the organizations Harris was a part of, which Kneller described as groups that

the city traditionally has not connected with as well. She specifically cited the state's Department of Social and Health Services.

"I think that's a perspective that is going to be very valuable," Kneller said.

Harris is a community member of the Snohomish County Multi-Agency Response team, member of the Everett Police Chief Advisory Board, Board Trustee of the YMCA of Snohomish County, and Vice President and Communications Chair of the NAACP of Snohomish County.

After praising Banfield for her knowledgeable answers to the seven questions posed by the council and Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, Crawford said that she would be voting for Harris based on his experience.

Marine said in support of Saul that he wants to help his community and he's already involved in a positive way.

"I liked what he talked about leadership, and I think he would just be a very good mix on the council, and I have no doubt he would do his homework," Marine said.

Harris indicated that he would come into the City Council with an open mind.

"I am not seeking the appointment to the Mukilteo City Council because of my own agenda or a bold new plan I have for Mukilteo," he said.

But Harris said his vision for the City does include safe, strong neighborhoods and a vital, innovative business community.

"I see a vibrant community, strong with family values and a care for one another," Harris said.

The other three candidates included Tony Markey, practice manager of medical group, who ran for City Council in 2017; Tina Over, a real estate agent, who twice ran for City Council; and Glen Pickus, director of Planning and Development Services for the City of Snohomish County and former planner manager and senior planner for Mukilteo.

 

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