Three Langley residents vie for open city council seat

Three Langley residents will vie for an appointed seat on the city council this Monday night.

Whoever is selected could take part in a vote to determine whether or not an inclusive city ordinance lives or dies.

Frank Rose, Christy Korrow and Burt Beusch have applied for position 1. It was vacated by Rene Neff, who resigned on May 15. The deadline for applications was Friday afternoon. The council is interviewing the candidates at Monday night’s council meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. The council will adjourn to executive session to discuss the candidates, then return to public session to vote for a replacement. If there is a tie between four council members, Mayor Tim Callison will cast the tie-breaking vote.

The replacement will serve until the November election results are certified. Beusch and Korrow have also filed for the November election. Rose said he is undecided on whether he will pursue a write-in candidacy.

Beusch has “considerable experience designing, leading and implementing a broad range of realignment strategies, revenue growth and increased profitability,” according to a summary of his experience on his application. His qualifications include operations management, sales and marketing management, financial administration and general management.

Beusch, a four-year resident of Langley, has held management roles at several Seattle-based companies since the 1990s. He’s reorganized a struggling installation and services organization into “an efficient and profitable team,” taken part in company financial and staffing decisions and directed a project that delivered and installed more than 5,000 workstations in the 42-story Washington Mutual Center in downtown Seattle.

“I am in a position where I can commit my time to assisting the city council with matters that are important to the city today — and for the future,” Beusch wrote in his application.”

Rose is chairman of the arts commission and has spent three years working closely with city staff, advisory boards and the council on public art projects, economic development and the city’s comprehensive plan. He’s also attended “city required” workshops on open public meetings, public records and ethics. Rose, who also spent 27 years in the Navy, said in his application that his experience makes him familiar with the city’s administration policies and ordinances that challenge the council in “maintaining and improving the quality of life for our citizens.”

If appointed, Rose said he looks forward to being involved in budget development and adherence within the city’s income, quality city services, enforcement of laws and ordinances, emergency management, the prosperity of the city’s inner core and the development of an arts district.

“This is a good opportunity to look at what the challenges are and how I can be helpful,” Rose said.

Korrow is a member of Langley Planning and Advisory Board and has also served as its chairwoman. She, too, has experience interacting with city staff, boards, council members and participation in city business, according to her application. She took part in a study of the city’s comprehensive plan and has had a hand in the city’s zoning, housing continuum, land use, sewer system, urban growth area, joint planning area and various sections of the Langley Municipal Code, including the ethics code.

She also co-developed the 16-lot subdivision in Langley known as Upper Langley, where she worked on a development of the site plan, supervised engineering and surveying, obtained permits and completed several other tasks. Korrow is currently a columnist for Whidbey Life Magazine.

“I like to listen to all sides of an issue and I like to interact with a wide range of people, including those who think differently than I do,” Korrow said in her application.

The council is expected to vote on the inclusive city ordinance during the meeting, which will place a newly appointed council member in an interesting situation.

Rose, Beusch and Korrow said they don’t know how they would vote, citing the need for more information. Beusch and Korrow candidates said the agenda packet for Monday night containing the revised draft ordinance was sent out on Thursday afternoon and that they’ll need time to delve into it. Rose, however, believes a compromise can be reached without having to label Langley as a sanctuary city.

Councilwoman Dominique Emerson and Councilman Thomas Gill said it is possible the newly appointed council member could abstain from the vote. They both felt a new council member might have a tough time voting on a sanctuary city ordinance during their first meeting. The topic is complex, and the discussion has been ongoing since November. Gill went so far as to suggest them stepping away.

“I think they would have to recuse themselves from that item,” Gill said.

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