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Snohomish Council selects its next member, with assist from Mayor

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Felix Neals will be Snohomish's newest council member.

SNOHOMISH — A new city council member will be sworn into office on Nov. 3. The city council, assisted by Mayor John Kartak, chose Felix Neals to fill the vacant position. After holding interviews for six candidates Oct. 20, Neals was selected in a 4-3 majority vote.
The Council had a split vote of 3-3 in deciding between candidates Lea Anne Burke and Felix Neals, in which case the mayor has tie-breaking authority with the majority vote. Mayor Kartak selected Neals.
Felix Neals is the senior human resources director of Sightlife, an anti-blindness nonprofit, and served two years on the city’s Public Safety Commission. Neals stated that his experience conducting leadership training exercises in areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion will bring a perspective that can be utilized in the position.
Neals said as a licensed mental health counselor, he has to have a real understanding of what it means to listen first; to be able to have professional distance from the issues and not to objectify the person, but rather the problem.
“I’ve been told I’m a very good listener because of those professional listening skills I’ve developed,” Neals said.
Heavily involved within the community, Neals held the position of secretary of the Historic Downtown Snohomish Association and is currently the First Vice President of the American Legion in Snohomish. Neals stated that a goal he has for the city would be to help Snohomish adapt to the “next normal” and continue to be a destination of choice.
“I believe I can say for all my fellow council members that we are looking forward to working with Mr. Neals,” Council President Linda Redmon said. “He is a great pick and is obviously very familiar with the town. He has contributed to our community for many years and we are really looking forward to getting to know him better and having him assist in serving the community as a council member.”
Neals will serve on council for the remainder of the term, ending on Dec. 31, 2023. The vacancy happened when Councilman Jason Sanders moved out of the area.
During the interviews each council member asked candidates a question ranging from a unique skill they could bring to the council, to how they would guide a community through times of civil unrest. Candidates were sent the questions prior and had two minutes to answer each one during the interview.
The city accepted applications for a month and received eight interested candidates. Two withdrew before the interviews were conducted.




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