Michael Criner

Michael Criner, standing, responds Monday to questions from the four sitting Concrete Town Council members before being appointed to the council’s fifth seat.

CONCRETE — Longtime Concrete resident and retired local school teacher Michael Criner was appointed Monday to the Town Council.

He fills a position vacated on the five-person council in November when Elizabeth Easterday moved outside of town.

Criner is no stranger to the council, having served from 2004 to 2011 and only stepping down because of the demands of his job with the Concrete School District, he said.

As a teacher, he taught shop and other classes, and helped launch a robotics program.

“I’m retired now, so I’ve got time. ... I’m ready to come back,” Criner said during an interview Monday with the four sitting council members.

Town Clerk Andrea Fichter said Criner was one of four applicants for the council seat and one of two applicants selected for interviews.

Criner said his priorities are to address drug use and homelessness in Concrete, as well as work to prevent over-budget spending on town projects.

“It seems cost overruns have become standard operating procedure,” he said.

Criner was appointed with a unanimous vote following an executive session of about 15 minutes to discuss the candidates interviewed.

Fichter said Criner’s appointment is for 2021. He will have to run for office to serve beyond this year.

Immediately following the council vote to appoint Criner, he took his oath of office.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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