Hannah Stone, a resident of the Columbia neighborhood, married mother of two, and a 10 year practicing immigration attorney, was selected unanimously on Monday evening to a city council seat. It is an interim seat, to serve out the term vacated by Roxanne Murphy who has moved to Alaska to take a job. It is the second year of the two term At Large council position, and it runs only until the November 2019 election is certified. However, Hannah plans to run for the council seat in next year’s election, so she is likely to remain on the council.
In her written application, she wrote: “The high quality of life that Bellingham purports to offer is not currently accessible to all residents of our fine city. There is important work to be done and I am ready to roll up my sleeves, reach out to constituents, and engage with the community at-large.”
In her brief speech to the council, along with the other 23 applicants, Hannah said what is bringing her to the table - to apply for the council seat - is being renters in Bellingham for 10 years, being first time home buyers now, and her concern for small businesses, education, and affordable housing.
You can view her speech to the council at the time from 1:08:30 to 1:11:40.
She was chosen after a unique and confused process by the council of coming and going between executive session and brief appearances in the council chamber. After naming their preferred choices of 4 to 5 people, they later each nominated one person and then wrote those names on slips of paper and had the clerk draw one name at random from a bowl - and all six then voted for the first name - Hannah Stone. That concluded the process. View at the same video link time from 2:14:30 to 2:17:15.
She will probably be sworn in today in front of a local judge, and take her seat on the council next Monday, Oct 8, at the regular council meeting.
The council chamber was packed with residents, many no doubt family and friends of the 24 applicants.
If council member Pinky Vargas wins the election as 42nd district state senator in November, then this will require a repeat process when she resigns this winter.