Three WSU students are seeking seats on the Pullman City Council.
The new councilmember will be announced at Tuesday’s meeting.
Senior political science majors Derrick Skaug and Nicholas Ramirez and graduate architecture student Julia Krauser are three of nine candidates for the all-city ward seat left vacant by the resignation of Keith Bloom.
Other applicants are community members David Gibney Jr., Keith Henriksen, Eileen Macoll, Alan Sorensen, Julie Titone and Darin Watkins.
The three student candidates stressed their desire to build a stronger relationship between WSU students and the off-campus Pullman community.
“With a lot of change coming to the university, there’s a huge potential for the students and the city to form a permanent connection,” Skaug said.
He said his strength as a candidate lies in being able to connect with a variety of people and groups. Students are about half of the Pullman community, he said, and they need a stronger voice on city issues.
Though Skaug will serve as ASWSU vice president next year, he said he is not concerned with the time commitment. Most councilmembers have other full-time commitments, such as work.
Skaug said he hopes more students will get involved with city council and he would like to see one of the student candidates fill the vacant seat.
Krauser said she believes students offer a valuable viewpoint for the council. As a Pullman resident, WSU employee and student, she said she offers a particularly unique viewpoint.
“I decided to run because I have lived in Pullman for about seven years now and I have been attending the city council meetings for the past four or five years,” she said. “So I know the current issues and what’s going on and I’m also a student and work at WSU so I kind of get to see all sides of the city.”
Not only students but other young working community members should get more involved with the Pullman community, Krauser said. She would aim to make that happen.
“My main points are that I do have something to give back to the community,” she said. “Pullman has given me a lot and I really enjoy Pullman and I want to focus on giving back to the community and I’m knowledgeable in doing that.”
Ramirez said one of his biggest concerns is how well prepared Pullman is for the increased class sizes at WSU and the resulting influx of students. He is worried about the readiness of businesses and housing providers for thousands more students during the next few years.
“We would really like to see some more representation since we make up a pretty decent percentage of the population,” he said.
Though Ramirez has other commitments as a student and with student government, he said he is not concerned about the balance.
“When you’re passionate about something you make it work,” he said. “I’m very passionate about this, about being involved, and so I will work my schedule around it.”
Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said the council will evaluate the candidates on their resumes and experience along with how well they will fit on the council and represent the community. The council will hear each candidate’s presentation Tuesday evening at the meeting and can ask any specific questions at that time before moving into executive session to discuss the options.
The councilmembers will then nominate and confirm their chosen candidate. Though Johnson will help facilitate the process, he does not have a vote in the final decision. The new councilmember is chosen exclusively by the current councilmembers.
Students and community members can attend the meeting Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Pullman City Council chambers.