Election will bring change to City Council makeup

May 2, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

The Newcastle City Council will have at least one new face in 2014.

Councilman Bill Erxleben announced that he will not file for re-election this spring, guaranteeing that there will be one open seat during November’s election. Two other sitting council members could be challenged as well.

“I believe that two terms is enough for any council member,” Erxleben wrote in a letter to the editor.

Erxleben was first appointed to the Newcastle City Council in 2002. He was elected to the council in 2003. After a few years away from local government, he was elected to the council again in 2009.

In addition to Erxleben, Mayor Rich Crispo and Councilman John Dulcich will see their current terms expire at the end of 2013. Both Crispo and Dulcich have announced plans to file for re-election.

Crispo announced his intentions at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s April 10 luncheon, citing his belief that there are still a lot of valuable things that can be done within the city.

“I am going to run again,” he said. “I really like the people in the city, I really do. I’m involved in a lot of stuff, and I meet a lot of folks and I just love it.”

Crispo was elected to the Newcastle City Council in 2009. He became the mayor in 2012 and currently occupies Position 5 on the council.

Dulcich recently announced his plans to run for re-election, saying he felt it was his “call to duty” to ensure that the city remains on the right track.

“I would like to continue this effort to not only ensure the sustainability of Newcastle but to see it thrive as the premier community on the Eastside,” he wrote in an email.

Dulcich began serving on the City Council when the city incorporated in 1994. He retired from his post in 2007. After a few years away from local government, Dulcich was elected to the council in 2009. He served as the mayor for two terms from 2002 to 2005 and again from 2010 to 2011. He currently occupies Position 7 on the council.

As of press time, two Newcastle residents have declared their intentions to file for Erxleben’s vacating seat on the council. Mark Greene and John Drescher will both file for Position 6.

Greene announced his candidacy at the end of December on his blog, but made it official with a press release in mid-April.

“The importance of keeping our unique stature as a city is a major reason of why I decided to run, though not the only,” he said in a statement. “If elected to the council this year, I will focus on infrastructure, safety and environmental issues.”

Drescher announced April 22 that he plans to seek Erxleben’s seat. He was appointed to the Newcastle Planning Commission in 2010 and currently serves as the advisory board’s chairman.

“At the urging of friends and family, and because I care deeply about helping to make Newcastle a great place to live and raise a family, I have decided to run for the Newcastle City Council this year,” he said in a statement.

Prospective candidates must file in-person at the King County Elections Office or online from May 13-17. Candidates can file by mail, though filings will not be accepted earlier than April 29 or later than May 17, irrespective of postmark.

Election Day is Nov. 5.

Learn more about filing for the upcoming election at www.kingcounty.gov/elections.

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