Race equity and climate change are two key issues for the Bainbridge Island City Council, and they proved that Tuesday night during the selection process of choosing a new member to replace Kol Medina.
Brenda Fantroy-Johnson, co-chair of the BI Race Equity Task Force, and Jane Lindley, co-founder of Act 4 Climate, were chosen as the top two candidates from a field of five. Both will return for another round of questions and dialogue with the council next week, when the final choice will be made.
“Being a council member is not predicated on any one thing,” Johnson said in her opening remarks. “I believe the biggest attribute a council member could have – and that I know I possess – is the ability to listen without prejudice and to serve the community and not have a personal agenda.”
Lindley said, “I believe in community service and giving back. The goals of the city and council align with many of my own. While I am an environmental activist, I understand that development is necessary.”
Johnson and Lindley each scored 20 points through a voting system that included all six members of the council. The other three candidates for the North Ward position were Tyler Benson, Stuart Walton and Kevin Fetterly. The council seat became available when Medina left to lead a nonprofit in Walla Walla.
Once the appointment is made, that person will hold office until the next general municipal election in November 2021. The new council member will be tentatively sworn in at the Dec. 15 meeting.
“I believe that the City Council and its committees would benefit from increased representation in its decision-making process by including more diverse voices and perspectives,” Johnson wrote in her application. “People of all cultures and genders are looking for homes near Seattle. If we want to have a diverse city, and the council has shown us that this is a goal, we have to start at the local level.”
Johnson’s past work experience includes being a senior security analyst for Nordstrom while her current job is a risk management manager for AT&T in Bothell, where she’s worked since 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Micro Computers and Network Management from Davenport University and holds a master’s in business administration in Computer Science from Spring Arbor University.
Johnson, who moved to Bainbridge in 2004, also is a member of the Sustainable Transportation Task Force and is on the interview committee for the Planning Commission. She sees low-income housing, sustainable transportation and racial equity as the three biggest priorities for the city.
Lindley’s application states that her three highest priorities for the city are the Comprehensive Plan and Climate Action Plan, along with inclusivity and diversity.
“Throughout my years on Bainbridge Island, I have been actively engaged in our community, which gives me an important perspective,” she states in her application. “I’m well versed in the work of community nonprofits and the environmental community, but I also understand – as a former business owner – that business needs are important as well. It’s a balancing act.”
Lindley’s work experience includes being board president of Sustainable Bainbridge, co-founder of Island Power, communication specialist for multiple nonprofits on Bainbridge (Friends of the Farms, Bainbridge Island Land Trust). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Botany from Hampshire College.
Having lived on the island for 28 years, Lindley helped build the city’s website through her company SuperWebGroup, Inc., in 2005, with a proprietary content management system, according to her application. In 2013, she also worked on the city’s Comprehensive Plan when she was president of Sustainable Bainbridge.
For details on the finalists, check out the city’s Dec. 1 study session video or agenda documents at www.bainbridgewa.gov/217/City-Council.