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Snohomish council to have a vacancy, maybe two, this election year

SNOHOMISH — One seat on the City Council may be vacant, possibly two, as the candidates up for election weigh running for another term.
Councilwoman Lynn Schilaty said last week this will be her last term and Councilwoman Karen Guzak says the same is likely true for her. Council President Jason Sanders said he is undecided.
Both Schilaty and Guzak began their council careers in 2007.
After 12 years on the council, including seven as mayor, councilwoman Karen Guzak says she is not inclined to run again.
“My 80th birthday is
coming and I might be okay with less meetings,” she joked. The longtime Snohomish business owner says she already has a bevy of projects to fill her time.
“I’ve taken on a very large scale sewing project, sewing reusable tote bags as my personal mission to reduce single use plastics,” Guzak said.
She’s also anticipating doing more teaching out of her Yoga Circle
Studio, and civic projects with environmental group Green Snohomish.
However, Guzak has one caveat: She’s looking for a candidate she can support and is particularly focused on cultivating female voices on the council.
Right now the split is four men to three women, and if Guzak and Schilaty bow out, Linda Redmon could end up as the only elected female.
Schilaty said she’s ready to move forward.
With her three children raised, Schilaty said she is opening up a new chapter in her life. Post-council, she plans to work on rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people at the state and national levels.
“I’ve loved every minute, but I think that there are many wonderful people who could take my place” on council, Schilaty said. She said she remembers being a new voice on the council more than a decade ago and sees the importance of balancing new and experienced perspectives.
Council President Sanders said he said he’s enjoyed his time on council but wants to see how the year shapes up before committing. He expects to decide midyear. 
Schilaty and Guzak exiting could tip the council toward mostly new members. Only councilmen Steve Dana and Larry Countryman have served multiple council terms. Two other members, Linda Redmon and Tom Merrill, will be midway through their first four-year terms at election time. Their seats come up for election in 2021.
The election filing period begins in May.
To learn more about the City Council, go to www.ci.snohomish.wa.us/115/City-Council for member and meeting information.

  

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