16 apply for Leavitt’s current seat on Vancouver City Council

Mayor-elect’s spot will be filled Jan. 25




A rare open position on the Vancouver City Council drew 16 applicants eager to fill the seat as mayor-elect Tim Leavitt moves to the middle chair in council chambers.

The spot, Position 4 on the seven-member board, brought in applications from political newcomers and well-known faces ranging in age from 30 to 71. Applications were due at 5 p.m. Friday.

The council is expected to narrow its choices to six to eight candidates, interview those applicants and appoint a new member on Jan. 25.

The seat has a recent history of seeing its incumbents elevated to higher office — Leavitt succeeded Jim Moeller in 2003, after Moeller was elected to the Legislature. Moeller followed Royce Pollard in 1995, when Pollard ascended to the position of Vancouver’s mayor.

Leavitt was the last member to be appointed by the council. The appointee will have to run for election in November 2010, as required of all appointees under the city charter, and again in 2011, when Leavitt’s term was set to expire.

The applicants are:

  • Christopher Boyd, 30, former Army officer and current Washington State University Vancouver student. No local government experience listed.
  • Shane Gardner, 40, a sergeant with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. He is a 2010 member of Leadership Clark County, a training program for future civic leaders. He has been involved in the Clark County Substance Abuse Advisory Board.
  • Bart Hansen, 34, office services manager for Clark Public Utilities. Ran for the seat being vacated by retiring Councilor Pat Jollota, but lost in the August primary. Member of the Vancouver Public Schools Management Advisory Task Force; Clark County Mural Society and Leadership Clark County.
  • Paul Harris, 56, who works in the retail paint business and is a former member of the Evergreen school board. Harris is a longtime Boy Scouts volunteer. In 2006, he unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, for election to the state Legislature. He also ran for a 17th District House seat in 2004, when he was defeated in the Republican primary by incumbent Jim Dunn. In 2003, Harris beat Leavitt and two other candidates in the city council primary, but lost to Leavitt in the general election.
  • Don Houston, 46, an investment adviser for Edward Jones. He is a board member of Second Step Housing, Rite Care of Washington, Scottish Rite Washington charities board; other civic involvement includes Habitat for Humanity, Hough Foundation, HOST home ownership group and the Vancouver schools’ Lunch Buddies program.
  • John Jenkins, 56, nonprofit specialist. Lost in the August primary election for Jollota’s seat. Vice-chairman of 2009 Vancouver Charter Review Committee; past chairman of the salary review committee for the mayor and city council.
  • Francis (Frank) L’Amie, 66, development program manager, Vancouver Housing Authority. Member of the Vancouver City Charter Review Committee; Vancouver Heights Neighborhood Association; 18th Street Citizens Advisory Group; Hazel Dell Highway 99 Redevelopment Advisory Group.
  • Kathy Marshack, 60, a psychologist and author. Marshack has been involved in a long-running dispute with her neighbors along the Evergreen Highway and has sued the city for harassment, malicious prosecution and conspiracy.
  • Anne McEnerny-Ogle, 56, retired mathematics teacher. Lost November council election to incumbent Jeanne Harris. Past member, Vancouver Planning Commission; chairwoman of Shumway Neighborhood Association; former chairwoman, Vancouver Neighborhood Alliance; member, Portland/Vancouver I-5 Transportation and Trade Partnership.
  • Steven Nitsch, 38, pipe fitter and foreman. No local government experience listed.
  • Eric Olmstead, 45, a self-employed technology consultant. In 2005, he challenged council incumbent Jeanne Stewart but lost in the general election. His civic activities include serving on the board of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Vancouver Rotary Club, Partners in Careers and the Vancouver Farmers Market. He is endorsed by Democratic Rep. Jim Jacks and former Democratic Rep. Val Ogden.
  • Debbie Peterson, 57, former elementary school teacher. Peterson ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for a state House seat in the 49th District, losing to Democrat Jim Jacks in November 2008. Before becoming a schoolteacher, she was a loan officer. Activities include participating in several musical groups and serving as a board member of the Ellsworth Springs Neighborhood Association.
  • Lee Rafferty, 58, former owner of Spanky’s Family Consignment. Endorsed by Vancouver Firefighters Union, Fort Vancouver National Trust President Elson Strahan and others. Member of Vancouver Downtown Association; chairwoman of VDA Economic Restructuring Committee; board chairwoman of Gifts for Our Community. Named one of Clark County’s “most powerful women” in 2007.
  • Charles Stemper, 71, retired United Airlines employee. Has run for mayor twice, including a loss in the August primaries, and for council once. Member of Vancouver Neighborhood Alliance; Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance.
  • Michael Teefy, 63, retired from Social Security Administration. Member of Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission; Southwest Washington Agency on Aging and Disabilities Advisory Council; Clark County Democrats Executive Board; Vancouver Charter Review Committee.
  • Marc Zimmerman, 56, political consultant and lobbyist. No local government involvement listed, but lists strong background in national, state and international consulting and legislation.