Posted by: sweeneyblog | December 2, 2014

City Council, Ward 3 Applicants: The Official List

Yesterday was the deadline for applicants for the vacancy on the Bellingham City Council so we finally have the official list of who is being considered for the position. I’ve added some notes and context to each name.

City Hall

City Hall

Iris Maute-Gibson – Staffer at the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center. If you haven’t already, check out my interview with Iris here.

Dan Hamill – Owner of an events planning company in town and former campaign manager for Carl Weimer. Check out my interview with Dan here.

Scot Barg – Cofounder (with former mayor Dan Pike) of a non-profit kickstarter project aimed at providing “executive education sessions” around big ideas about sustainability and former employee of Parker Remick, a headhunting agency in Fairhaven.

Michelle Magee – a teacher at the Bellingham Cooperative School, also involved in the Coal-Free Bellingham movement. You can find her website here.

Andrew Reding – Current Issues and Resolutions chair for the Whatcom Democrats, policy wonk and friend of the blog. Check out my interview with Andrew here.

Richard Dean (JR) Johnson – Former owner of the Sober Rovers and current treasurer for the Columbia Neighborhood Association.

I’m doing my best to reach out to all these candidates and conduct interviews before the decision is made on Dec. 17th. Arlene Feld had been planning to apply but family commitments have caused her to drop out. If you have more information to contribute about these candidates, feel free to (politely) share it in the comments below.



  1. Use a name or be deleted.

    • How about the 4th Superior Court judge?

    • Who?

      • What?

      • Where?

  2. An impressive list of candidates. Would make for a very interesting “top-Two” primary. After nobody running against Michael and Gene, it is good to see so many people willing to serve.

    • Yes, it is an impressive list of candidates. I’m surprised myself about how many people applied.

  3. Not that none of the other applicants are qualified for the position, but finally, there is a chance that a true progressive can be on the Bellingham City Council- Michelle Magee. She is exactly what we need for the Bellingham City Council. Someone who will work to protect the community from coal trains, and understands the values of those who are most affected by city council decisions.
    As always, thanks for the work you put into the blog!

    • From the interview though, Maute-Gibson sounded pretty qualified…

      • Because she was part of the miscreant Occupy Bellingham movement of lost souls?

    • But I still support Magee, just in case people are confused.

  4. I am so glad that Michelle Magee applied for the Bellingham City Council position vacated by Cathy Lehman. The City of Bellingham and its citizens would be lucky to have Michelle on the Bellingham City Council.

    Michelle is a civic-minded, community-minded, hard-working single mother, and a teacher. She is active in the community and in her volunteerism. And she is not afraid to speak up for what she believes in, which is a refreshing and important quality.

    Michelle is also well-versed on issues facing Bellingham and its City Council, and Whatcom County. Her communication skills are excellent and she is able to get along with, and work well with, many different types of personalities which is invaluable for a city councilmember who would be working with fellow council members, the mayor, and city employees.

    It seems as though there are some good candidates who have applied, but because I know Michelle and her capabilities, I am putting my support behind her. I hope others will encourage the current Bellingham city council to select Michelle.

  5. i believe that Andrew Reding has some bigger national credentials. I will ask him to choose the wording so that I don’t guess wrong.

  6. Why doesn’t a mainstream Conservative run for the council? Ward 3 isn’t 100% Flaming Liberal.

    • I don’t think that the council would appoint a mainstream conservative.

      • You are correct because the council is comprised of the Radical Far left.

  7. Full disclosure, I know and like Michelle Magee. I am inclined to support her, though I’m also curious about a couple of statements touted on her Facebook page, Most immediate, she describes herself as a “devoted leader.” Interesting, in that she was conspicuously active in Occupy Bellingham, which proudly embraced the concept of having no leaders.

    I am thus curious about the leadership backgrounds of all the applicants, which I hope Riley questions in his interviews.

    Were they in leadership roles when they were younger, in clubs, in college? (Did they graduate from college?) How do they define their style of leadership? How has it has evolved.?

    We sorely need real leadership on our passive and ineffective council, where one sees scant examples of that characteristic, save perhaps in Jack Weiss.

    Speaking of which, Happy Anniversary?

  8. That’s a lot of good candidates. Having worked with him for many years when he was Volunteers Coordinator at WVC, Make a Difference Day, on the first 3 years of Project Homeless Connect (until I left the YW), House to Home project, the campaign for the Low Income Housing Levy and then Carl’s campaign, I found your desciption of Dan’s work a bit reductive. But I’m a fan. 🙂

    • Then you will hopefully love my interview with him, coming out tomorrow!

      • I eagerly await it! Thanks for the reply, Riley.

      • Excellent! I look forward to it.

  9. […] my interview with Iris Maute-Gibson click here, for more information on who has applied click here. To support the work we do here at the Political Junkie, please click […]

  10. […] first thing Andrew Reding clarified when I sat down with the applicant for the city council was that this was an appointment, not an election. “I’m wouldn’t say I’m […]

  11. […] methodology is key to his partnership with former mayor Dan Pike. The two of them are currently involved with Huxley College, developing curriculum for executives […]

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