Editor’s note and correction : A technical error caused this story to not be published in full in the Sept. 11 edition of the Courier-Herald. The full article can be read below. Additionally, the article mistakenly reported the Black Diamond City Council would vote on its new members on Sept. 26. The correct date is Sept. 19.
Black Diamond will likely have two more council members by the end of September.
At the beginning of the month, the city council — comprised of five people — voted unanimously to add two new seats, citing the city’s growth, especially with the Oakpointe development, Ten Trails, adding an approximate 4,800 homes to Black Diamond in the next two decades.
Applications for those two new seats were due Sept. 3. Several residents voiced that they wanted to be able to vote in the new council members, but state law requires these new members to be nominated, not elected.
Only two applications were submitted, meaning the new council members are expected to be Patrick Nelson and Steven Paige.
Nelson, currently the business development manager at Redline Recreational Toys in Auburn, has been a Black Diamond resident for 15 years, volunteering at Black Diamond Labor Days and assisting in organizing local National Night Out events.
“I have seen the struggles and challenges we all went through,” he wrote in his application. “I believe I bring experience of knowing what has gone on over the years. I understand the growth and future of the city.”
His top three priorities, in order, are traffic, community relations, and safety and security, specifically “helping police and fire get all the equipment and training they need,” a likely reference to Mountain View Fire and Rescue recently submitting a draft contract asking Black Diamond to pay its “fair and equitable” share for its services, alleging the city pays less than half of what the rest of the fire district pays.
This will be Nelson’s third attempt to become a council member.
Paige is currently the chief financial officer at Tukwila manufacturer Aerogo Inc., which could be a boon to the city council as it heads into budget season. He also has been on the Lake Sawyer Community Club board for two years, and is an active Knights of Columbus member.
“Over my career of more than 30 years, I have worked in a variety of business settings and have performed virtually all of the responsibilities that a city council member would be expected to perform,” Paige wrote in his application.
His top three priorities included, in order, preserving the “character, heritage, and quality of life found in Black Diamond,” population growth and traffic management, and business development.
“As our community grows, I believe it will be crucial to maintaining quality of life to have employment opportunities locally for our residents,” he continued. “This would also provide the city with additional revenue sources to invest back into our community, not other communities. There are several cities in the area that we could learn from that are doing this exact thing.”
If Nelson and Paige are appointed to the city council, one will serve a two-year term before the seat is up for re-election, and the other a four-year term; both candidates wrote they were interested in both terms, so it will be up to the city council to determine their election schedule.
Although the city council tentatively scheduled candidate interviews for the Sept. 12 workstudy, these interviews are now scheduled for the council meeting on Sept. 19.
If the council declines to appoint either applicant, it has until the end of October to find a suitable candidate.