Yelm council appoints Stephanie Kangiser to fill vacant seat

DePinto breaks tie between two candidates


Last October, Stephanie Kangiser said during her race for Yelm City Council position 1 in the November general election that she believes she’d make a difference if she was elected. Though she came up just a handful of votes short against current Yelm City Councilor Tracey Wood in that election, Kangiser now has the opportunity to serve the city after the Yelm City Council appointed her to position 4 that former councilor Holly Smith vacated last month.  

Kangiser immediately assumed her seat on Tuesday, March 26, following her appointment. Other applicants for the vacant seat included Ryan Cruz, Robert Isom, Chris Putra and Griselda Arias.

Kangiser’s appointment didn’t come easily, as she and former City Councilor Isom initially tied with three votes apiece. Councilors Tracey Wood, Joshua Crossman and Trevor Palmer each voted for Isom, while councilors Joseph Richardson, Brian Hess and Terry Kaminski cast their votes for Kangiser. 

A second and third vote led to the same results, which is when Mayor Joe DePinto opted to settle the matter.

“There is now a 3-3 tie, and I can decide to break this tie — and I will,” DePinto said. “I will vote for Stephanie (Kangiser). There is a 4-3 majority vote, and Stephanie Kangiser will take the position 4 (seat). Congratulations, Stephanie.” 

DePinto posted on his Facebook page after the meeting that he appreciated Kangiser  and the other applicants for applying and for their willingness to serve the Yelm community.

“While I wish the council would have been able to come to a majority vote on their own, I respect their process and transparency throughout,” DePinto wrote on Facebook. “They did not hold any executive sessions (closed off camera discussions to discuss qualifications) and held multiple meetings to discuss the process and conduct public interviews.

“Congratulations CM Kangiser, I look forward to working with you,” DePinto wrote. “Thank you to all the applicants.”