Tri-City Herald File

Eleven candidates have run to fill a vacant seat on the Pasco City Council — and several have ties to the Hanford Nuclear Reserve, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Pasco schools and more.

Monday, June 27 was the last day to submit applications and resumes to be considered for the District 3 position, which was recently vacated by Nikki Torres, a Republican who moved outside the city limits to run for office. a vacant seat in the State Senate.

The city council plans to select a candidate at the July 11 meeting.

At its next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday July 5, the Board plans to refine a shortlist candidates who will be interviewed at the next meeting.

Pasco District Council 3 encompasses much of the northeast portion of the city, including the Tri-Cities Airport, Columbia Basin College, and several neighborhoods on Burden Boulevard.

Although Torres’ position is not eligible for re-election until 2025, whoever is selected would stand for re-election in 2023 before completing the remainder of the term.

It is unclear which of the 11 are eligible and live within the boundaries of District 3; city ​​staff have yet to cut applicants for ineligibility, and applicants’ home addresses have been removed from copies of applications reviewed by the Tri-City Herald.

Leo Perales is a former City Council candidate who lost to Torres last year general election.

Perales currently works for Atlas Technical Consultants in Kennewick.

“For 14 years, I have volunteered on many state and local public service boards and commissions, which has given me the critical experience needed, as well as a front-row seat to understanding the role of a member of the city council in leading and serving a city like Pasco,” he wrote in his application.

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Leo Perales

He has been involved with Consejo Latino, Kennewick Housing Authority, Benton County Planning Commission, Pasco LULAC No. 47014, and Washington State Commission of Hispanic Affairs.

Irving Brown Sr. also ran for the District 3 seat last year, but failed to make it past the August primary.

He currently works at the Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center in Pasco, and previously worked in human resources for the Washington Potato Company and was executive director of the Tri-Cities Diversity and Inclusion Council.

A resident for 10 years, he has also been involved with the Miss Juneteenth pageant and scholarship event and the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

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Irving L. Brown Sr. Washington Secretary of State

“I will work to strengthen our city’s economy with pro-growth policies that spread development evenly across our city. I will find ways to save money in our budget without compromising vital services while maintaining a culture of equity, inclusion and empowerment in our local government,” he wrote.

Stephen People works as a supervisory accountant with the US Department of Energy Richland Operations and has lived in Pasco for 13 years.

He spent several years as a community coach, volunteer, teacher and youth mentor.

“I dedicated two years of my life prior to attending (Oregon State University) to volunteering in the Detroit, Michigan long distance, serving the Latino community in (a) variety of activities such as translation services, to teaching English as a second language,” he wrote.

It aims to make Pasco “the place where the Spanish language is not only welcomed, but encouraged”.

Catherine Smith works as a research analyst at PNNL and has lived in Pasco for 14 months.

She is a mother of four children, one with special needs, and has a decade of professional experience in government.

“I would like to serve and help improve my community, especially (with) schools and community resources,” she wrote.

Jack Merrill is a project manager at PNNL and a former project manager at Boeing.

He has lived in Pasco for two years, but was raised as a farm laborer working in wheat fields and grass seed crops.

“Some of my strongest interests are ensuring that first-rate public services such as well-maintained parks, public transportation and emergency services are prioritized,” he wrote.

Brett Knapp is a semi-retired Pasco resident, who has over 25 years of experience as a Hanford worker.

He is also a longtime volunteer firefighter and has experience serving in the United States Navy Reserves and Civilian Air Patrol.

Knapp wants to bring his will of service to the city council and “continue to make Pasco a great place to live, work and do business.”

A pair of Pasco School District educators are also vying for the vacant seat.

Zulema Abastillas is a special education teacher who has lived in Pasco for 12 years. She became involved in the community through outreach work with local churches and non-profit churches. Her husband also works for the police.

Responding to the city’s rapid growth is one of its top priorities.

“I want to serve on City Council because I want to use the position as a platform to help and support Pasco’s diverse communities,” she wrote. “As a first-generation American, I have experienced the challenges that many Hispanic (peoples) face in acclimating to a different way of life. I want to find ways to better support those in need.

Marianna Polyukh is a librarian who taught in the school district for seven years and wants to represent the city’s large Slavic population.

“I would love the opportunity to represent the large Ukrainian population here. As an immigrant from Kyiv, Ukraine, I feel connected to our Ukrainian and Russian-speaking communities in Pasco,” she wrote.

ryan jones is a journeyman welder currently at Energy Northwest — Columbia Generating Station who has lived in Pasco for 16 years.

He is a member of the Executive of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 598 and an instructor. Jones has also been involved in local youth sports programs including Pasco Little League, Kennewick American Youth Baseball, and YMCA indoor soccer.

Its service goal is “to help promote responsible development with a focus on manufacturing and technology to support long-term family jobs in our community” and to expand STEM programs in local school districts.

Brent McGary is an accountant and business partnership analyst working in the field of agriculture. He also sits on the board of LeGrow Water Co.

“I want to serve my community,” he wrote. “I love Pasco and want to work with the other members of the city council to develop Pasco as it continues its tremendous growth.”

Stan Smith is a retired Pasco resident who has lived in the city for seven years.

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Eric Rosane is a civic responsibility reporter who joined the Tri-City Herald in February 2022. He previously worked for the Daily Chronicle in Lewis County, covering education, county government and the Legislature . He graduated from Central Washington University in 2018.