The Arlington City Council had the enviable task of choosing between eight highly-qualified candidates for the council seat left vacant by the September 3 death of Scott Solla. After more than an hour of closed-door deliberations during the Nov. 16 meeting, the council voted 5-0 to appoint Debora Nelson to the fill Solla's unexpired term.
Nelson is a local business owner and president of the Downtown Arlington Business Association (DABA).
"I am truly honored by this selection," said Nelson. "The council had an incredible group of candidates to choose from. I will do my best to represent the interests of all the city residents and businesses."
The City Council reviewed applications from and interviewed all eight candidates for the vacant position. In addition to Nelson, candidates included Vickie Solla, widow of councilmember Scott Solla, retired Arlington fire chief Jim Rankin, local Smokey Point resident Michael Rexford, Seattle firefighter Craig Christianson, Arlington business owner Marcia Smothers, Arlington architect Ruth Gonzales, Andy Tift, manager of the Marysville Holiday Inn Express and member of the Marysville Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and Snohomish County Tourism Promotion Area board.
After interviewing all eight candidates, councilmember Marilyn Oertle observed, "We now have the most difficult decision: to choose one person to fill the vacant seat when we have eight highly qualified candidates that could all readily fill the seat."
Nelson was sworn in at the beginning of the November 21 meeting of the Arlington City Council.