A veteran, an event organizer, a firefighter and a farmer are four candidates who, as of Feb. 5, are hoping to earn a seat on the Port of Coupeville Board of Commissioners, namely the one left by John Callahan at the end of 2023.
Eligible candidates must live in the boundary of District 3 — which extends from Admiralty Bay to south of Lagoon Point— and apply by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. After the deadline, the board will begin scheduling interviews and make a decision.
Callahan, who represented the District 3 position, first ceded the race to his opponent, Angela Ewert, who, certain to be the only candidate left in last November’s election, did not run a campaign and was eager to serve.
But upon learning that he won, Callahan announced he would stay on the board even after previously dropping out, which Ewert learned about during a public meeting and left her feeling “a little sour by the whole experience.”
Less than a month later, Callahan announced his resignation during a board meeting on Dec. 27, prompting the board to accept resumes and hold interviews to fill the vacant seat instead of appointing Ewert.
Though she submitted a resume, Ewert withdrew her application, which detailed her experience as the legislative aide to Jared Mead, a member of the Snohomish County Council, and skills in community engagement and contract management.
In an interview, Ewert said she ultimately decided to let someone else try, and said the current board has been serving very well. She is considering running again at the next election, and wishes Callahan well.
Michael Diamanti, who previously served on the port board, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force Security Service; he was a radio intercept operator and Morse code intercept operator, with top secret cryptographic clearance.
After being honorably discharged in 1971, he took different jobs that gave him leadership and community experience, including conducting excavations and ground field surveys and creating maps as a contract archaeologist, directing the Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County and the Central Whidbey Youth Coalition, developing and implementing safety programs and interpreting laws for a medical center in Minnesota, and cataloging and examining photos for the Island County Historical Society.
Currently, according to his resume, he owns Island Coffee.
Tammy Murphy owns Whidbey Island Markets, a monthly flea market. According to her resume, she has run fundraising events for the Greenbank Farm, Island Senior Resources, Create Space Langley and art departments in local schools.Her community involvement also includes her experience volunteering for the Mobile Turkey Unit, which serves Thanksgiving meals to people in need.
She has worked as a project manager for large companies like Microsoft and Shell and for state agencies like the State of Texas Department of Transportation. She has experience interpreting complex information, which she gained by writing software training documents and updating manuals, policies and contracts as a technical writer.
James Mirabile is currently Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue’s executive officer and has served as the lead fire training officer between 2022 and 2023, according to his resume.
In his 32-year-long firefighting career, Mirabile commanded the second largest fire and rescue training facility in Virginia, Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue, for which he contributed to the creation of programs and designed a training manual, giving him leadership and technical writing experience.
Martin Vandepas co-owns the Slow and Steady Farm, a sustainable farm located in Greenbank, and his resume includes leadership, budgeting and grant writing experience.
In January, he was elected to the board of the Whidbey Island Grown Cooperative, where he helps write grant applications for the federal and state Departments of Agriculture and is currently helping with the creation of the 2024 budget.
He also served as a peer reviewer for the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program for five grant cycles, reviewing grants up to $500,000 each, and served as the vice-chair of a neighborhood association in Portland, Oregon.