Two longtime residents and first-time candidates are vying for position 1 on the Woodinville City Council.

The seat was previously held by Councilmember Chuck Price, who resigned in June. Price had been appointed to the seat on Jan. 4, 2020. On July 15, council selected candidate Phil Mark to replace Price until the November election.

The council opted to choose between him and the other candidate who fi led to run for the seat, Michelle Evans. Evans said that she felt she had no choice but to apply to be considered for the interim position, but she opposed the process from the beginning.

“The current council has a history of replacing themselves and appointing their successors,” Evans said.

“I think it would have been a lot better to appoint a custodian, instead of putting the council’s weight behind one candidate or the other,” she later added.

Mark said that others who may have wanted to serve in the position had “ample opportunity” to file to run. “Anybody had the opportunity to try and run for the seat,” he said. Mark has lived in Woodinville for 23 years and has been a “booster” for the city, he said, promoting it as a desirable place to visit or live. 

His background has been in marketing and consulting, which helped get him more involved in the community, he said. Mark kept an interest in what was happening in the communities where he worked, he said, which included Woodinville. Evans also has a background related to marketing and owns a strategic marketing consultancy.

She has lived in Woodinville since 2007 and decided to run because she felt the council needed “broader representation.” If elected, one of her priorities would be to support the establishment of a diversity council aimed at bringing together more “diverse points of view” to help advise decisions and improve communication between the council members and the public.

“As a city, we haven’t done a good job of reaching out to all the various communities that might be under-represented,” she said.

Mark said his one of his priorities would be to focus on the 20-year comprehensive plan, which guides policy on longterm growth planning and must be updated regularly. He wants to focus on “quality, sustainable development,” he said.

He also wants to focus on re-establishing an emergency preparedness plan for the city. He said there currently isn’t a coordinated plan for disasters such as winter storms, fl ooding or future heat waves.

Evans said a primary concern of hers is the lack of aff ordable housing in the city, which she said is contributing to entry-level worker shortages happening in a number of industries.

“I’ve watched the housing crisis just go through the roof,” she said. “… I feel that we should be more proactive in coming up with affordable housing options.”

She hopes to partner with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity to address the issue.

The lack of transportation options is another priority of hers, and is another factor affecting the city’s ability to attract some workers, she said.

“It’s hard to get to Woodinville if you don’t have a car,” she said. It needs to be easier to get around for those who don’t have a vehicle, she said. Solutions may include more public transportation and bike lanes.

Improving traffic flow and parking options are also priorities for Evans. Mark shares these priorities as well as the desire to increase alternative transportation options, such as mixed-use trails.

Both candidates are also strongly opposed to a proposed waste transfer station and recycling center in Woodinville. King County is in the process of deciding on new site for the dump, and two Woodinville areas are on the table. If the transfer station were to be put in Woodinville, Mark said, it would “completely negate any transportation solutions that we’re coming up with.”

Evans has been active at meetings and in sharing information about the potential project to help voice opposition for it. General election ballots will be mailed on Oct. 13.

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