Of the 12 applicants* for the Richland City Council seat left vacant when Phil Lemley resigned, the council chose three to interview for the job. Two of them live in the area near Meadow Springs Country Club, home to three current city council members.
The council will interview KaeRae Parnell and Damon Shayne Van Dyke who live in the Meadow Springs area on the south side of Richland and Gregery Levy who lives in north Richland.
Meadow Springs is also home to Mayor Michael Alvarez and Councilmembers Ryan Lukson and Sandra Kent.
Councilmember Terry Christensen is currently the only member from the north side of town as both Councilmembers Theresa Richardson and Jhoanna Jones live in south Richland.
The council has discussed putting a charter amendment on the November 2022 ballot to allow voters to decide if the city should have city councilmembers elected from districts. The last time citizens voted on the issue was about 50 years ago when they voted against it. Both Pasco and Kennewick city councils have election districts.
Shir Regev ran for city council in 2019 on a platform that put districts as a priority. The Herald endorsed her opponent, incumbent Brad Anderson, partly because, the editorial board wrote, “He said he supports Regev’s districting plan, and we would like to hold him to that.” Anderson resigned from the council in August 2020 without ever mentioning the subject again.
The candidates will be interviewed on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 625 Swift. Blvd. The public is invited.
The candidate who is selected will serve until Lemley’s term ends in January 2024 unless they successfully run for election in November 2023.
*Full disclosure: The Observer was one of the nine rejects.