Kennewick City Council applicants to be interviewed Saturday

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldMarch 5, 2013 

A local fire official looking to make a political comeback is among those still in the running for a vacant seat on the Kennewick City Council.

James Hempstead, who served on the council 12 years before losing his seat in the 2009 election, is one of 10 applicants set to be interviewed Saturday at a special council meeting.

Eleven people applied but one didn't meet the residency requirement. Applicants must live in council Ward 2, which covers the central part of the city of about 75,000 residents.

The special meeting starts at 9 a.m. at City Hall, 210 W. Sixth Ave. The council is expected to choose its new member at the session. The person picked will have to win election in November to keep the seat.

The position is empty because former Councilwoman Sharon Brown stepped down earlier this year to join the state Senate.

Council members make $992 a month, with the mayor and mayor pro tem making slightly more. Brown was mayor pro tem, but the new council member won't necessarily hold that position. The council will pick a new mayor pro tem once the vacancy is filled, said Evelyn Lusignan, the city's spokeswoman.

The 10 applicants are:

w Hempstead, a Richland fire battalion chief who lost the 2009 council election to Brown.

w Bill Monroe, an unemployed nuclear worker who served as a Mattawa councilman from 2000 to 2006.

w Raymond Hui, an attorney and member of the Kennewick Planning Commission.

w Brian Bradford, a personal caregiver and past member of the Ben Franklin Transit citizen's advisory committee.

w Diane Crawford, an ordained minister/wedding officiant who also works in marketing and community outreach for Oasis Physical Therapy.

w Brad Beauchamp, who owns a construction/land development company, a mortgage company and rental properties throughout Benton County.

w Eduardo Pacheco, a master K9 handler-explosive detection for the Hanford Patrol who's spent 30 years at Hanford and is a former Kennewick reserve officer.

w Gregory Jones, the Department of Energy's Hanford site chief financial officer and vice chairman of the Kennewick Planning Commission.

w Johanna Davis, a school counselor in the Richland School District and volunteer Kennewick Parks and Recreation coach.

w Jerry Kurtz, a health physicist for CH2M Hill.

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