0814 council primary

Christine Cleland-McGrath advanced to the general election. Dom Tor Fleming led Sara Holahan by six votes Monday for the second spot on the ballot.

Christine Cleland-McGrath was the top vote-getter Aug. 6 in the primary for Anacortes City Council Position 2, with 47.92% of the vote.

The second spot on the ballot was too close to call. Updated results posted late Monday showed Dom Tor Fleming ahead of Sara Holahan by six votes — 26.22% to 25.86%.

The election results will be certified on Aug. 20.

Holahan, retired deputy library director of Mount Vernon, was leading Fleming by 12 votes on election night. By Friday, Fleming had pulled ahead by 17 votes. By Monday, his lead shrank.

Fleming is chief financial officer for a tech company. In February, he, Cleland-McGrath and Holahan were candidates for appointment to the council position vacated by Liz Lovelett, who went on to the state Senate.

Fleming later withdrew his name from consideration, saying a woman should be appointed to maintain diversity on the council. Cleland-McGrath was nominated, but then the council changed how it would make the selection, and the ultimate winner was Carolyn Moulton.

Holahan ran unsuccessfully for Council Position 4 in 2017.

Cleland-McGrath, a real estate agent and city planning commissioner, said housing availability and affordability are priorities for her.

“We need to address lack of housing across the board — single-family housing, multifamily housing, affordable housing,” she said Friday. “This is a beautiful place to live, and we have to make sure have a long-term and short-term plan for housing and living-wage jobs.”

As a planning commissioner, Cleland-McGrath helped develop the city’s revised development regulations and zoning map that were approved July 22 by the City Council. Included are incentives for developers to add affordable condos and apartments; rules for development of cottages clustered around shared open space; and the use of accessory dwelling units as rentals.

“There’s a 0.04% vacancy rate in Skagit County,” she said of rentals. “We need more rentals across the board.”

Four of seven council positions are on the Nov. 5 ballot. The council is guaranteed to have at least two new members — Brad Adams and Eric Johnson chose not to seek reelection.

• Position 1 (four-year term): incumbent Ryan Walters, John Schryvers

• Position 2 (four-year term): Tor Fleming, Christine Cleland-McGrath

• Position 3 (four-year term): Jeremy Carter

• Position 6 (two-year unexpired term): Carolyn Moulton, John Espinoza

The City Council meets at 6 p.m. on the first four Mondays of each month. The council approves contracts, ordinances and resolutions, decides land-use issues and approves the city budget. Members serve on council committees addressing issues related to finance, housing affordability and community services, parks and recreation, personnel, planning, public safety and public works; they also represent the city on local and regional committees. Council members are paid $1,200 a month.

Load comments