Applicants for vacant seat on Whatcom council to speak at next meeting

The three applicants for Sam Crawford’s seat on the Whatcom County Council are scheduled to give five-minute speeches at the start of the council’s Tuesday, March 3, meeting.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the county courthouse, 311 Grand Ave.

Among the applicants seeking to replace Crawford, who resigned effective Sunday, March 1, is former council member Kathy Kershner. She served from another county district from 2010 to 2013 but moved from Bellingham to Lynden last year. Kershner, the only former public office holder under consideration, cited in her application her experience as a reason the council should select her.

Applicant Satpal Sidhu of Lynden became known in political circles last year, when he ran for a seat in the state House of Representatives. Running as a Democrat, Sidhu lost to Republican Luanne Van Werven. Sidhu said in his application he would be a pragmatic leader who would protect the environment and “individual freedom and innovation,” rather than adhering to a political label.

Jim Cozad of Toad Lake ran for state senator in 2012 and finished third in a race won by incumbent Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island. Cozad is better known for his work to prevent homelessness and help people re-enter society after time in prison.

“I would bring a fresher perspective to the council, focusing on the social and health fabric of our community,” Cozad wrote in his application.

Council is scheduled to vote March 17 on who will replace Crawford, who announced his resignation in January after 15 years on the council. Crawford said he could no longer give adequate attention to the office because he accepted more responsibility at his workplace.

Crawford’s replacement will serve until the results of this November’s elections are certified. Only Sidhu has said publicly he is interested in seeking to retain the position for a four-year term.