May 2, 2013

By Staff

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Get ready for elections

While flowers begin to bloom around the city and customers file into the Newcastle Fruit and Produce Stand, it can only mean one thing: Spring is officially here.

That also means that election season is right around the corner, and the terms for three Newcastle City Council positions are set to expire at the end of the year.

If you’ve been thinking about taking on an important leadership role within the city of Newcastle, the time has come to take the next step. Candidates must file for election by May 17.

City Council incumbents Rich Crispo and John Dulcich announced that they will seek re-election. Bill Erxleben, on the other hand, has decided against filing for re-election; so far, Parks Commission Chairman John Drescher and Newcastle citizen Mark Greene have said they will seek Erxleben’s seat.

Candidates must be registered voters at the time of filing and have at least one year of Newcastle residency on Election Day, according to state law. Candidates should also possess a willingness to dedicate several hours to numerous meetings and a strong resolve to serve the city and its residents.

The issues sure to be hot topics in City Council races this year include Newcastle’s future financial health and the direction of development within the city limits, particularly the ongoing progression with the Mutual Materials site. The topic of the city’s sustainability is also likely to get rehashed.

Newcastle residents will also have the opportunity to get involved with the local school boards, as the terms for both director districts that encompass the city are set to expire in 2013.

Marnie Maraldo currently represents Newcastle on the Issaquah School Board, while Pam Teal does the same for the Renton School Board. At press time, it was unknown if either will file for re-election.

Elected office is the ultimate volunteer job. While Newcastle City Council positions come with pay, the pay is nominal — far less than minimum wage. All council positions are considered part-time, and council members often have employment apart from the city.

It’s not a job for the faint of heart. Candidates must be passionate about their community and willing to dedicate the next four years to Newcastle, if elected.

The idea of running a campaign may seem intimidating, especially against incumbents, but the community really is best served when every position has challengers.

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

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

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