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By David Pan 

Council approves mayor's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission candidates

Monday’s unanimous vote was in sharp contrast to the March 7 meeting


Last updated 4/20/2022 at 10:57am

After a delay of more than a month, the City’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Commission has three new members.

The City Council unanimously approved Mayor Joe Marine’s nominees to the commission – Sandra Holzer, Michael Dixon, and Gauri Sanghvi – during Monday’s council meeting.

The council previously rejected on a 3-2 vote Dixon, Sanghvi, and a third candidate not nominated this time – Ewa Wheeler – during a contentious March 7 meeting that featured sharp exchanges between Marine and some of the councilmembers.

The process was far smoother the second time around.

After the first vote, City staff brought to the attention of Marine and the council a 2014 resolution (No. 2014-02) that detailed a process used for interviewing, appointing, and confirming appointments to boards and commissions.

One of the steps outlined is that the mayor, along with the chair of the board, commission, or committee, would interview the top three candidates. This was not followed the first time around because Marine was unaware of the requirement.

This time, Marine and DEI chair Eva Stoeser interviewed all seven candidates. The council was notified in advance of the interviews and had the opportunity to observe. Copies of the application materials also were provided to councilmembers.

Following the vote, Marine seemed pleased to be moving forward.

“Great job, council,” he said.

Marine said that while he was unaware of the 2014 resolution that changed the appointment process, he is glad about the change

“I’ve got to say that I think it’s a good process,” he said. “Having done the interviews with the chairs, I think having that was helpful. It was interesting to find that I don’t know if that process necessarily had been done from 2014. But for whatever reason, (it) got brought to our attention, and that was a good thing, I think, certainly going forward.”

Prior to the vote, Councilmember Tom Jordal offered the two candidates in attendance – Sanghvi and Dixon – the opportunity to speak to the council.

Sanghvi had not prepared any formal remarks.

“I’m thankful for getting appointed,” she said. “I’m looking forward to helping the city understand and get people together. … I’m hoping good things will come out of this.”

Dixon, appearing remotely, said, “Thanks very much for the opportunity, and I do hope to be able to work with you all.”

Holzer told Marine that she was traveling and wouldn’t be able to attend the meeting.

Councilmember Jason Moon, the former chair of the commission, told the candidates he appreciated their patience.

“Thank you, mayor, for the due process. I’m glad that we have our new DEI,” he said. “… I’m looking forward to lots of collaboration together.”

Council President Steve Schmalz listened in on the interviews with the candidates.

“I appreciate the work that the mayor and the chair, Eva Stoeser, did with the DEI Commission about asking good questions, and the responses were great. … I look forward to working with the DEI Commission.”

Holzer, appointed to Position 1 for a term ending Dec. 31, 2024, has been a family engagement liaison with the Mukilteo School District for the last five years. Her work with the school district has been focused on connecting families and community; identifying appropriate community resources; and helping to improve communication between parents, schools, mental health providers, and other community resources. She currently is a member of the district’s equity team.

Dixon, appointed to Position 2 for a term ending Dec. 31, 2024, has been a resident of Mukilteo for 14 years. He owns Dixon Insurance and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He serves on the Mukilteo Water & Wastewater District Commission, and previously served as a commissioner with Alderwood Water & Wastewater District. He also sits on the YMCA board of advisors, and is part of the newly-formed Diversity and Inclusion task force for the board.

Sanghvi, appointed to Position 3 for a term ending Dec. 31, 2022, has been a resident of Mukilteo for a year and five months. She has several degrees and certifications in financial planning, business, and teaching. She was a teacher in India, a banker in Canada, and has been a broker in Washington state since 2011.

She is president of the General Federation of Women’s Club, was a founding member of Sahara Group of IndoCanadian Women, and has volunteered with Abbotsford Community Services. She has lived in four countries and speaks three languages

The council also unanimously approved the reappointment of current Planning Commission members Jerry Bush and Tim Krivanek.

Bush, Krivanek, and a third candidate, Ashvin Sanghvi, were interviewed by Marine and Planning Commission chair Nicole Thomsen.

Marine said that he appreciated the council’s interest in the interviews.

“Just to point out, there was the opportunity for councilmembers to listen in, and I think on all those interviews there was at least one councilmember,” Marine said. “So thank you for that – your interest.”

Bush has served on the Planning Commission since 2013 and is the most tenured commissioner. He is the president/CEO of a regional commercial mechanical contracting business. He has served as president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Washington, Trustees of Union Health Trust and Union Educational Trust, as a member of the Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club Campaign, and as a previous chair of the Planning Commission (2015).

Krivanek has served on the Planning Commission since 2017. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political economics and is a senior business operation manager at Boeing. He has served on boards such as the Seattle Symphony Chorale and ArtsFund Seattle.

He also has served on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Leadership Snohomish County boards He also participated in a workgroup planning the outreach and public process for Byers Family Park.


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