Eight applicants are seeking appointment to Olympia City Council position 4, which is being vacated by Mayor-elect Cheryl Selby.
The council will interview the eight applicants at a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at City Hall. After the interviews, the council members will list their top picks for the vacant position.
The new council member is expected to be sworn in during the council’s Jan. 5 meeting. The goal is to appoint the new member before the council’s annual planning retreat Jan. 8-9.
The new council member would serve the remaining two years of Selby’s term. The application notes that the commitment for council members is “a minimum of 15-20 hours per week per person, sometimes more.” Council members receive an annual stipend of $16,640.
Here are the applicants:
▪ Max H. Brown, 26, works as a management analyst in the government affairs and policy division for the state Department of Labor and Industries. He has past experience as an administrative assistant for L&I and the Office of the Governor, and has been a policy analyst for the Washington State Association of Counties.
Brown also is a former chairman of the Olympia Planning Commission, which he joined in May 2013. Other volunteer experience includes working with Olympians for People-Oriented Places and the Washington State Senior Games cycling events.
Brown has a bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University and completed missional leadership coursework at the Resurgence Training Center in Seattle.
His priorities as a council member include ensuring all residents have the support to thrive; preparing for the city’s anticipated growth of 20,000 new residents; and fostering an efficient, effective and accountable government. Other goals include implementing the Downtown Strategy, improving services for the most vulnerable citizens, making progress on the parks plan, encouraging more market-rate housing downtown and improving the local business climate.
▪ Marco Rosaire Rossi, 34, works as a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood and ran for Olympia mayor in the November general election on a platform called Olympia For All. The platform supported a $15 minimum wage, urban planning, police accountability and public involvement.
His volunteer experience includes serving on the advisory boards for street outreach groups including The Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project (EGYHOP), Partners in Prevention Education, and the Cold and Hungry Coalition.
Rossi has a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
His priorities as a council member include working to end poverty, protecting the environment, and promoting changes in the structure of local government to improve regional integration and connect on a deeper level with citizens. Other goals include supporting urban density downtown, providing more housing options for low-income residents, creating a citizens advisory board on poverty and affordability, and promoting a more inclusive government through solutions such as election districts or a mayor-council form of government.
▪ Chase A. Gallagher, 32, works as the communication manager for the state Department of Ecology. Past experience includes work as an advance associate for the White House, along with communications work with the Washington State Democrats and election campaigns in Washington, California, Missouri and Georgia.
Gallagher is a resident of downtown Olympia. He has an associate’s degree from South Puget Sound Community College and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington.
His priorities include preparing for future growth in Olympia; finding solutions to homelessness and public health problems; and investing more in transportation choices, parking, rapid bus transit and better bicycle infrastructure.
Other goals include promoting progressive employer policies for the city; deciding how to raise minimum wage; ensuring that clean, safe restrooms are available downtown; and recruiting at least five new businesses to the city.
▪ Clark N. Gilman, 52, works as an associate at SparrowHawk Consulting, which serves nonprofits and tribal governments. He also is a special-education assistant at North Thurston High School.
Gilman’s volunteer experience includes serving as the current chairman of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. He was a member of the off-leash dog park subcommittee for Olympia Parks and Recreation, a co-founder of the Residential Carpenters Union, and has held several leadership roles with the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters.
Gilman has a bachelor of arts degree from The Evergreen State College.
Priorities include creating policies that improve safety and security in downtown Olympia by helping the most vulnerable citizens, improving the overall perception of safety in downtown, and seeking funding sources that make the city’s finances more stable.
Other goals include marketing a vision of Olympia’s future by having the council lead discussions that shape the local economy. He also believes the council can take a stronger role in steering growth.
▪ Karen A. Johnson, 56, works as a strategic initiatives executive for the state Department of Social and Health Services. Previous jobs include strategic operations manager at the state Employment Security Department, director of the Together! Program, and chief administrative officer for the Hames E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Community involvement includes serving as president and co-founder of the Black Alliance of Thurston County. She is the current president of Olympia-Capital Centennial Rotary Club and has been a committee member for Thurston Thrives.
Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Utica College of Syracuse University, and a master’s degree in public administration and a doctorate in urban services/management from Old Dominion University.
Priorities as a council member include reducing homelessness in the city and region; promoting downtown economic development; making downtown Olympia safer, cleaner and more walkable for people and businesses; and supporting more resources to provide fair and impartial policing training.
Other goals include enriching public participation, preventing urban sprawl, boosting the feeling of safety in Olympia, fostering open communication and supporting a sustainable budget.
▪ Paul E. Masiello, 39, works as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Lewis County. He worked for nine years as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Spokane, where he was involved with cases relating to domestic violence and mental health.
His volunteer experience includes stints as a mentor attorney for the YMCA in Spokane and a “volunteer attorney rater” for youth and government mock trials.
Masiello has a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and a law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law.
His top priorities are to increase community policing through training that improves interactions with the public; promote the construction of a parking garage in downtown Olympia; and address the issue of homelessness downtown.
One suggestion for the latter is to expand prohibited locations for panhandling, and encourage more enforcement of such laws to allow officers to direct individuals to social services.
Other goals include developing a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, supporting more housing and incentives for downtown investment, and promoting more density to accommodate the city’s expected population growth.
▪ Allen T. Miller, 61, is an attorney who owns a law practice in Olympia. He also serves as a judge pro tempore for the Olympia Municipal Court and Thurston County District Court. Other experience includes stints as an adjunct professor at South Puget Sound Community College and Seattle University School of Law.
Miller served on the Olympia School Board from 2008-2015, and was board president in 2010-2011. Other volunteer roles include service on the Olympia Planning Commission, Providence St. Peter Foundation board of directors, Thurston County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and the Yes Olympia Parks Committee.
Miller has a bachelor’s degree in government and religious studies from the University of Virginia and earned his law degree from the Seattle University.
Priorities include making sure that city infrastructure is maintained and improved, downtown improves economically and culturally, and Olympia has the best police, firefighters and city staff.
Other goals include partnering with Thurston County to build a new courthouse with a parking garage in downtown Olympia, pushing for more accessible downtown restrooms, leveraging new revenue from the Metropolitan Parks District, and supporting more downtown housing.
▪ Peter F. Tassoni, 49, works as a state energy program manager for the state Department of Commerce. He was previously emergency management director for Columbia County, Oregon, and has been a state emergency management program director for Washington Emergency Management Division.
Volunteer experience includes serving on the utilities advisory committees in Olympia and Whatcom County. He was a planning commissioner in Columbia City, Oregon, and now serves as board secretary for the Washington State Trails Coalition.
Tassoni has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College.
Priorities as a council member include growing the city’s tax revenue, increasing the number of downtown residents through more housing options, and investing in infrastructure projects that will improve economic activity and livability.
Other goals include focusing on legally required document updates; maintaining and improving the city’s bond rating; and making “cautious investments in human and physical assets.” If appointed to the council, Tassoni has indicated that he will not initiate any policies or legislation.