Forty-three people have applied for the temporary "caretaker" spot, as city council president Tim Burgess has labeled Sally Clark's open seat. Clark resigned this month to take a community relations job at UW.

The list of applicants is stacked with familiar public policy nerds and political heavyweights, such as Low Income Housing Institute director Sharon Lee, department of neighborhoods bureaucrat Ed Pottharst, Space Needle scion Howard Wright, and former human services interim director and former Port of Seattle executive John Okamoto. (Initially, 44 people had applied, but ex-city council member Peter Steinbrueck withdrew his name. Former council members Jan Drago and Heidi Wills are still in the pool, though.)

The council will vote on a list of finalists on Monday April, 20—presumably after doing some behind-the-scenes vetting (which has our open-public-meetings-act Spidey senses tingling). Those finalists will present in public on Friday, April 24 and the council will make its appointment the following Monday, April 27.

The list of hopefuls is also peppered with some characters who don’t exactly fit the traditional applicant profile—including a sheet metal worker to a male model trained in jiujitsu. We spoke with a few of these folks to see why they wanted the gig.

•Ann Jannetti

Who she is:
Principal at Big Impact Business Service and Advisory

Cover letter highlight:
"With all the changes in Seattle, I’m concerned that we remain diverse and vibrant. [My husband and I] may be priced out of the Seattle rental market, and [we’re] both professionals! We want to preserve those things we love so much about Seattle."

 

Quirky resume point:
Jannetti is a board member and volunteer at Seattle Goodwill.

What makes her promising:
Balance—she’s a businesswoman who has her own connections to community and concerns for the disenfranchised.

How do you stack up against the other candidates?
"I certainly think having the experiences I have as a success as a businessperson in the for-profit realm, and am now moving into the nonprofit realm; I’m very concerned about our city, and I bring passion, experience, problem-solving abilities, and compassion for those being left out in our communities."

What are your priorities?
"I’m very interested in education, empowerment, and confidence building. In order to have
those things happen, we need to meet basic social justice needs of housing, access to food, and making sure people have the means to achieve self-sufficiency. It’s not about giving people the fish, but showing them how to fish, as the saying goes. We want people who are disenfranchised to have the opportunity to have full and complete lives. A lot of times it’s about empowering people and giving them the confidence to move forward on their own and showing them where the resources are."

Sawant or Murray?
"Tough choice—because I appreciate both. But I’d say Ed Murray. I like that he’s able to reach consensus and bring a variety of perspectives to the table."

Are pod apartments good or bad for the city?
"We need to be addressing housing in creative ways, by both looking at other cities and thinking of our own solutions. I think these kinds of things are worth trying to see what works and doesn’t work. I think aPodments take it in a creative direction; yes to aPodments!"

Does Seattle need more bike lanes or more parking?
"We need more bike lanes. We need to be diverse in transportation options and for livability. I’ve travelled to many places in the world where walking and biking are just as highly valued as other modes of transportation, and that’s a neat thing to see."


•Dan Casaletto

I'm considering moving into [an aPodment], so I think [they're] a really good idea… My rent has gone up again this month.Who he is:
Male model, CEO of True Boss promotions, former English teacher in China and bartender/club bouncer

Cover letter highlight:
"I want my name to be associated with giving 100 percent…. It does not matter what work or art one does, it only matters that one tries. From this effort life gains meaning, a job becomes a career, and free time is better appreciated. This is called Kaizen [Japanese for 'change for the better']."

Quirky resume point:
Hobbies include economics, literature, weight lifting, nutritional supplements, soccer, NFL, and video games.

What makes him promising:
He is one of the few candidates who is trained in jiujitsu.

How do you stack yourself up against the other candidates?
"I would say that they [other mainstream applicants] are coming from positions of privilege, and they are in general playing inside baseball … I thoroughly research these issues, and I care deeply about them… I take it very seriously, and I think I'm a manifestation of why voters are disenfranchised or perhaps I should say alienated, isolated, or not even interested to take part in the political process."

What are your priorities?
I would be the only working-class person on the city council. So I'm interested in issues that are related to the working class. Of course housing. Rents are getting sky high, and I think that is a bit ridiculous. Though we have to look at the business side of things as well as the consumer side of things. I think issues
related to public transit are germane to this discourse.… I'm also very much interested in educational issues. [These issues] are very much my focus [of my candidacy] as well as my life whether I get this position or not."

Sawant or Murray?
"I'm definitely more on the Sawant side of things as [her platform] pertains to everything in my life. I have family members living in low-income housing, and it's pretty clear that [her platform] is what is obviously beneficial for the majority of people, myself included."

Are pod apartments good or bad for the city?
"I'm considering moving into one, so I think it's [aPodments] a really good idea.… My rent has gone up again this month and an aPodment makes sense for a person who wants to live and work in the city. There is an aPodment building approximately two blocks away from where I currently reside, and the rent is significantly lower."

Does Seattle need more bike lanes or more parking?
"I do not have a car, and I ride a bicycle, so you may take a guess."

•Andrew Himes

Who he is:
Codirector of Business Alliance for the Future, information technology and communications director for It’s Time Network, and founding executive director of Charter for Compassion International

Cover letter highlight:
“With skyrocketing rents and the loss of affordable housing we’re seeing low-income families literally shoved out of the city as even more of our neighbors become homeless, and we face losing a measure of the rich diversity that is the core of our strength.”

Quirky resume point:
Himes isn’t all that quirky, but he’s been to almost every corner of the globe to give keynote speeches in major cities while working for Charter for Compassion International.

What makes him promising:
Nonprofit, social justice background

How do you stack yourself up against your competitors?
"I bring something different, and it's in some ways the strategic vision that I've been so blessed with learning through the compassionate cities campaign internationally.… I've had many many hours of conversation and engagement with mayors and city council people and community activists in many cities around the world.

So I've really learned, it's not just about Seattle, it's about what does Seattle have to both learn from and contribute to this global movement for resilient cities and cities that are potentially wonderful places to live in the future."

What are your priorities?
"In a lot of ways this is the time when we get to make the decision about whether we're going to kind of follow the lead of San Francisco in becoming a place where nobody but relatively wealthy people can live. We have to do something really important in order to create the possibility for affordable housing and for a very diverse community to continue to be part of the fabric of our town. It can't just be a showdown between the forces of the developers and the forces of affordable housing or homeless advocates. We have to bring all the innovation and all the creative ideas of everybody together into the same room."

Sawant or Murray?
"I actually don't think there is a battle that's being fought between two sides in that way. I think Ed Murray is doing a fabulous job as mayor, and I really love the work that he is doing. I think that the housing affordability and livability initiative from the mayor's office is exactly what we need. And my sense
of Sawant is that she's really—I'm sure there may be some things that I disagree with her on in terms of her political agenda—but a lot of the things that she's done are just fabulous from my point of view."

Are pod apartments good or bad for the city?
"First of all I love that word [aPodments]. It's a great word. I don't think aPodments are bad for the city. I think that for anybody at any stage of their lives, there's a certain kind of way that you want to live. And especially for people who are younger, in their 20s, maybe still in school or just coming out of school and on their first few jobs, the idea of an aPodment or a much smaller apartment definitely [should be] part of the mix."

More bike lanes or more parking?
"I would vote for more bike lanes any day. It is certainly true that parking is bad and it's going to get worse. I think that the strategic solution for Seattle, especially for the downtown and near-downtown areas, is more and more bike lanes, more and better buses. We can build all the underground garages under all the new buildings we can afford to build—and we would not solve the problem of parking in Seattle."


•Timothy Janof

Who he is:
Project manager and electrical engineer at Sparling. He's also a cellist.

Cover letter highlight:
“I have lived in Seattle for almost 47 years. My principal in high school was Cheryl Chow. I graduated from Garfield High School. I am a UW graduate. Though born in Paris, France, I am about as Seattle as you can get.”

Quirky resume point:
 Janof is a featured composer on Nick Licata’s website.

I play cello and play
soulful music, which
means I have a heart.

What makes him promising:
Janof hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the position, and told PubliCola that he has “no political agenda.”

How do you stack up against the other candidates?
"I don’t have a resume like Peter Steinbreuck, but here’s what I do have: I’m an electrical engineer, which implies I’ve got a decent head on my shoulders; I play cello and play soulful music, which means I have a heart; I’m a composer, which means I’m creative; I’m a project manager, which requires a highly organized mind and the ability to get things done. I think of myself as a confident person. When I read the posting for the position, they were looking for someone who didn’t want to be a career politician. That’s me! I love Seattle. Why not me?"

What are your priorities?
"Right now, I’m driving on I-5, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and I am thinking about public transportation and how all these people should be on a train. There are issues with homelessness and the funding of education, all things I’m passionate about. One thing I love about [council member Nick] Licata is his advocacy for the arts, which is something I want to promote too." 

Sawant or Murray?
"I like them both for different reasons—which makes this a hard decision, but I’ll have to pick Sawant—she’s really shaking things up. I love how she’s advocating for people who are struggling in our city."

Are pod apartments good or bad for the city?
"They’re increasing density in the city, which is good in terms of urban sprawl. I think aPodments are good because they’re containing things in the city."

Does Seattle need more bike lanes or more parking?
We need more bike lanes, and then more biking. It’s a hostile city to bike in—there’s a lot of danger for bikers, and we need to make Seattle a safer city for biking.

•••

There were a few other candidates with off-the-beaten-path resumes that we would've liked
to chat with, but we were unable to reach. But here are some bare-bones profiles based on their applications.


•Christina Bollo

Who she is:
A PhD candidate in architecture with an outside focus in economics at the University of Oregon

Cover letter highlight:
“As a long-time architect of affordable housing, I have strong social justice values, paired with pragmatic realism.”

Quirky resume point:
Former chair of the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

•Kyle Bowman

Who he is:
Journeyman sheet metal worker

Cover letter highlight:
“I’ve had a desire to be in local politics for some time now, and with this opportunity opening up, I couldn’t stay on the sidelines any longer.”

Quirky resume point:
Bowman’s application didn’t include a resume.

Legendary political iconoclast Dick Falkenbury, known for passing the first monorail plan back in the late 90s, also applied. We interviewed Falkenbury last week.

 

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