Whatcom Council will appoint replacement for Sam Crawford

Sam Crawford
Sam Crawford The Bellingham Herald

The Whatcom County Council could appoint its newest member on Tuesday, March 17.

The public at the March 3 council meeting heard from all three applicants for the District 2 seat vacated by Sam Crawford.

Applicant Kathy Kershner, who sat on the council from 2010 to 2013, could not attend the meeting. Jessica Elenbaas gave a statement on Kershner’s behalf.

“Kathy asked that you consider her recent experience as an elected council member, and the overwhelming support she enjoys in District 2,” Elenbaas said.

District 2, the most conservative of the three county districts, includes Lynden, Everson, Nooksack and Sumas.

Jim Cozad also highlighted his experience — not in elected office but in social service work. Through various organizations, Cozad helped shelter homeless people and transition prison inmates back to society.

Cozad said he would not seek re-election this fall. The appointment lasts until the November election is certified.

Applicant Satpal Sidhu, who ran as a Democrat for state representative in 2014, said he is interested in running to retain the County Council seat. He called himself a “centrist” who puts long-term benefit ahead of short-term gain.

He listed among the council’s issues economic development and the creation of family-wage jobs.

“It will take a long-term vision and courage for bold decisions and risks to do the right thing,” Sidhu said.

Outgoing council member Crawford left the position on March 1, after 15 years, to take on more responsibilities at his job. Council is scheduled to vote on his replacement at the start of its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the county courthouse, 311 Grand Ave. in Bellingham.

If four of the remaining six members on the council can’t agree on any of the applicants, council must convene a special meeting by March 30 to reconsider the appointment or cede the decision to county Executive Jack Louws.