Local business owner Kyle Diercks was quickly sworn in Monday night after the six members of the Enumclaw City Council moved to appoint him to fill a seat that has been vacant since November following the death of Kevin Mahelona.
Diercks was selected from a pool of three candidates that were narrowed down at the last council meeting. Mike Sando, a history and government teacher at Enumclaw High School and track coach, with experience working with governing bodies, and Julie Reece-DeMarco, an attorney who was also a member of the Washington Council of School Attorneys and previously worked in the Kent School District rounded out the trio of candidates.
The candidates each answered two questions they were asked ahead of time regarding how they would be most effective in addressing city issues, and how past and future annexations would shape the future of Enumclaw, before fielding additional questions from the councilmembers.
Sando shared his background in working in the state Legislature and a desire to reach out to other entities in the community and engage in an effort to "do more with less."
Reece-DeMarco emphasized her experience in finding common ground with others and the value of listening to others as well as being prepared.
All three candidates recognized the benefits as well as hazards of annexation but supported proactive and well-though-out annexations that worked toward the long-term benefit of the community so that Enumclaw doesn't lose it's identity and charm.
Diercks shared that though he had experiece lobbying in Washington, D.C. and working with various municipal governments including Seattle as well as NGOs overseas, and has a background in brand strategy, "I don't know all the specifics about what is going to produce all the desired results," he said of his immediate effectiveness.
To that end, he would utilize his skills including listening, learning, communicating and collaborating with fellow citizens to achieve the ultimate goal of improving the community, he said.
As a small business owner, he said he supports a strong downtown and a strong State Route 410 corridor.
When asked what he'd focus on if he were appointed, Diercks replied he'd want to honor the person who left this particular person. Additionally, he'd "help other people outside the community understand what Enumclaw is all about."
Diercks serves in this position through 2013 when the seat is up for election. In all, four seats on the Council will be up for election this fall, and the remaining candidates were encouraged to file to run this fall.