Seehuus
Seehuus

Sultan mayor John Seehuus will continue in his role for the next two years.

Seehuus stepped in late last year when former mayor Carolyn Eslick was tapped this fall to fill the 39th District seat vacated by John Koster in the Washington House of Representatives. He will finish out Eslick’s term, which ends in 2019. The city council approved his move at its Dec. 21 meeting.

“I am ecstatic, I am ecstatic,” he said. “It is a privilege and an honor.”

Seehuus moved to Sultan in 1990, where he became director of operations for the Sultan School District. He lived on a ranch down Mann Road with his family until moving into town. Nearly a decade later, he was hired on at a large firm, but stayed in the field of operations management until his retirement in 2012.

Seehuus has long been an advocate for education and transportation improvements, and has taken leadership roles in various community groups. He is one of the only two remaining founding members of the U.S. Highway 2 Safety Coalition.

His work history will make for a smooth transition into the mayor’s seat, Seehuus said. Fiscal responsibility has always been a sticking point of his. He said he believes Sultan is on the cusp of a great deal of growth and wants to ensure that process is sustainable and carried out responsibly.

“I have not exceeded a budget once in my professional career,” Seehuus said.

He said businesses are opening up in town. That means local jobs will need to be filled. Enhancing public safety will remain a target. He said he hopes to continue to reduce the prevalence of homelessness in the city.

One of his first actions as mayor was to introduce a resolution that would ban safe injection sites in town. The council will be discussing the issue at Thursday’s meeting. He said no one has proposed opening a facility and the move is preemptive.

Jefferey Beeler was the only other councilmember vying for Eslick’s spot once she stepped down. His was the only dissenting vote that night, Seehuus said. The group had originally agreed he would take over until they could decide on a permanent replacement.

Seehuus was mayor pro tem at the time, which he served as starting in 2015, and from 2006-07 before that. Stepping up was something he knew he wanted to do right away. Seehuus ran against Eslick the year she was elected as mayor about a decade ago. It was a quiet campaign, because the two were friends and agreed on the issues, he said.

Now they are looking for someone who can fill Seehuus’ empty seat. Candidates have until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, to send the city an application.

“The appointee will serve a special two-year term and will be required to run for the position during the 2019 election should they wish to retain the seat,” according to the city. “Applicants must be registered voters and must reside in the Sultan city limits, with a one-year minimum residency preceding his or her appointment.”

Those who qualify will be interviewed by the council at an open meeting. The group has 90 days from when Seehuus stepped down to fill the position.

For the past few months Seehuus has continued the traditional Coffee with the Mayor meetings held every Friday morning at Galaxy Chocolates. He said he his looking forward to his new role and to be serving the city that he has loved for so long.

Seehuus said Sultan hasn’t always had the best reputation. In his experience he has not come across a finer group of people in his life. He is not sure yet if he will rerun when the current term ends.