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Cort named Coupeville’s newest council member

Larry Cort talks with Coupeville resident Ricardo Reyes after being appointed to the Coupeville Town Council Tuesday night. Reyes was one of the people who applied for the vacancy on the Coupeville Town Council. - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Larry Cort talks with Coupeville resident Ricardo Reyes after being appointed to the Coupeville Town Council Tuesday night. Reyes was one of the people who applied for the vacancy on the Coupeville Town Council.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

After years working for every city on Whidbey Island, Coupeville resident Larry Cort will move into a more public position.

The longtime planner was appointed to the Coupeville Town Council Tuesday night by a 3-1 vote.

Cort was one of seven candidates vying for the spot that was vacated in August by Tom Tack. He resigned his position because he took a new job in New York.

In addition to Cort, Gary Piazzon, Meryl Gordon, Marilyn Huemer, Ricardo Reyes, Chuck Wilkerson, and Dennis Bright applied. Mayor Nancy Conard said Wilkerson withdrew his name from consideration prior to the interviews that took place Tuesday night.

Each of the four council members asked the candidates about their qualifications, what issues each would try to resolve and their thoughts on trees in urban areas.

Cort, who is currently a project specialist in Oak Harbor, was Coupeville’s town planner from 1996 until 2003. He also spent four years as Langley’s planner and served on Coupeville’s Design Review Board.

During the interviews Cort touted his years of government experience. He also grew up in Coupeville and returned to the historic town 15 years ago.

Cort complimented the other candidates and said he will be busy getting up to speed on the issues facing the town.

“I have a little bit of a learning curve,” Cort said. He will be sworn in during the council’s next meeting.

Council members Molly Hughes, Dianne Binder, and Bob Clay voted for Cort, while Ann Dannhauer voted against him. She wanted Piazzon appointed to the council, but Clay made a motion selecting Cort.

“He gives a point of view that is needed in the town of Coupeville,” Dannhauer said, arguing for Piazzon, an environmentalist.

Cort will fill out the remainder of Tack’s term, which goes through 2013.

Cort’s appointment to the council, and the six others who wanted the position, comes during a season where the mayor’s seat and three council council seats are up for election. The people vying for those seats are running unopposed.

The council members encouraged the remaining candidates to consider applying for other positions on town commissions. David Day, a member of the Coupeville Planning Commission, noted that there is currently a vacancy on the volunteer commission.

 

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