The Enumclaw City Council’s decision was quick and unanimous: Corrie Frazier and Tom Sauvageau will be the city’s newest council members.
The process of looking for two new city leaders began when former council members Kyle Jacobson and Tony Binion moved outside Enumclaw’s borders last January. Initially, a highly surprising 19 people applied for those two open spaces, though three ended up pulling their applications.
“I think the kids call it ‘First World Problems’ now, because I’ve never seen or even heard of an opening such as this that has a 9 to 1 ratio of applicants to open positions,” Council member Chance La Fleur, who was clearly ecstatic about the interest over the open seats, said during the March 8 meeting.
The council spent nearly four hours getting to know all the candidates during their Feb. 22 meeting, but in the end, it only took about 20 minutes of deliberation at last week’s meeting to come to a final pick.
Each council member had nothing but praise for everyone who applied.
“If your name [does] not end up being selected tonight, it’s not that you’re not wanted,” La Fleur continued. “It sucks to have to pick from a group of candidates that are so amazingly qualified.”
“We even joked that we wished we had a council of 12 seats,” Council member Anthony Wright added later.
“All across the board, there wasn’t anyone in there that I wouldn’t be proud to serve with,” Council member Hoke Overland said near the end of the night.
La Fleur argued that his picks, Frazier and Sauvageau, come with financial experience that is likely to help the city through the remainder of the bad economic times brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
“2020, unfortunately, is not over, even though the calendar has turned, I fear,” La Fleur said. “I think we have some potential economic roads that are a little bumpy ahead of us.”
Frazier is a public accountant and IRS-enrolled agent that specializes in individual and corporate tax preparation, but also has experience with small business accounting; Sauvageau is the president and founder of Sauvageau CFO, LLC, an account management firm, and also co-owns the Bordeaux Wine Bar in town.
Wright said Frazier had the best opening of all the candidates.
“I liked the fact that when I asked her, ‘What’s the one thing missing from the council,’ she said a woman,” Wright said. “She didn’t even hesitate, and I thought that shows confidence and her can-do attitude.”
Both Council members Kael Johnson and Beau Chevassus had longer lists of top candidates, but also ended up pushing for Frazier and Sauvageau for their financial experience and what Chevassus called their “servant’s hearts.”
Overland was the last to lay praises on the lucky two; “They’re both outstanding candidates.”
Both Frazier and Sauvageau will be sworn into their positions during the March 22 meeting.
RUNNING IN THE FALL
Although the Enumclaw City Council is now back up to full strength, elections are just around the corner, and the council is encouraging anyone and everyone to file.
In fact, not only will Frazier and Sauvageau’s seats be up for grabs, but Johnson’s, Overland’s, and Mayor Jan Molinaro’s seats as well, promising an exciting election season.
“I would very much like to see two people across each position, and give people a choice,” Overland said. “Don’t run away and hide. Now’s the time for you to file.”
To get people started, King County Elections is hosting candidate workshops over the Zoom virtual platform in March and April to help people learn how to file for an election.
The workshops are currently scheduled for March 16 and April 1 from 6 to 8 p.m., and April 17 and 29 from 10 a.m. to noon; they will cover a range of topics including the elections calendar, online candidate filing, filing fee petitions, ballot order, local voters’ pamphlet filing, and more.
To register, head to bit.ly/kingworkshops; the filing period opens May 17, and closes May 21.
Finally, for those that don’t think they can handle the time commitment necessary of an elected official, the Enumclaw City Council encourages you to get involved in other ways as well.
“One thing that I encourage everybody to do is: stay involved. We need people like you,” said Chevassus. “Get on some committees — that’s where the action happens anyway. We just pass a few things here and there.”
Of the city’s various committees and commissions, there are two positions in the city’s Planning Commission that will be open at the end of the year. These positions are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council. For more information about applying for these positions, contact Community Development Director Chris Pasinetti at 360-615-5726 or email@example.com.
According to the city’s website, “The Planning Commission is a 7 member body that acts to analyze, research and make recommendations to the City Council regarding the appropriate use and development of land throughout the municipality.”