Kiwanis Club seeks Citizen of the Year nominations

Award honors Mukilteo citizens who serve community
By Nicholas Johnson | Mar 15, 2017
Photo by: Wendy Grace The Citizen of the Year selection committee has gathered at Harbour Pointe Assisted Living for the past two years for a reception in honor of that year’s chosen citizen. Here, the group gathers in 2016 to honor Debra Bordsen. Sitting in front from left to right are Ed Taylor and Lois Livingston. In the second row from left to right are Lynette Gardiner-Kidd, Pam Glasco, Bruce Brown, Debra Bordsen, Lois Brown and Elizabeth Erickson. In the third row from left to right are Chuck Davis, Tony McNulty, Tim Taylor, Skip Kidd, Paul Archipley and Mike Daffron.

Ready or not, it’s time once again to nominate Mukilteo’s most outstanding, community-minded residents for the Citizen of the Year award.

This year’s nomination form can be found inside the Mukilteo Beacon. The deadline to submit nominations is May 31.

Since George Losvar and David Burklund were named the city’s first citizens of the year in 1970, the award has been bestowed upon some 56 people, if you count the Mukilteo Volunteer Firemen (1977) once. In two years – 1971 and 1985 – no one was selected.

Over the years, some 31 men and 25 women have received the award, which has gone to both individuals and couples. In the case of Jim Brice in 2014, the award was given posthumously and accepted by his wife, Ann.

Tim Taylor, who has chaired the selection committee since 2005 after receiving the award himself in 2004, said the process for selecting the citizen of the year has evolved over time as it has been shepherded by former recipients.

For most of its history, the selection process has been handled either by the city or the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Association, he said.

In 2004, after several years without a sponsoring organization, 1995 recipient Lois Brown approached Taylor, who was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Mukilteo, to suggest the Kiwanis take on sponsorship.

It did and, ever since, Taylor and his wife, Pam, have organized the nomination and selection process, bringing together as many past recipients as they can each year in June on the deck of their Old Town home.

Anywhere from seven to 12 former recipients gather there to consider the nominations, said Pan Taylor, who does not vote but serves as an administrator, organizing the nominations for voting members of the selection committee before getting out of the way.

“We figured they don’t have an axe to grind and they understand the process,” said Brown, who said she became involved in the selection process prior to receiving the award herself and has remained involved one and off ever since.

“There’s a lot of diversity among us, so I think it works well. You get quite a broad spectrum of people from the community.”

Brown and Taylor consider themselves unique among citizens of the year as both have seen family receive the award. Taylor’s father, Ed, and his uncle Dick were chosen in 1979. Brown’s husband, Bruce, was chosen in 2002, and her daughter Debra was chosen in 2016.

“I had nothing to do with that,” Brown said of her daughter’s win last year, adding that she didn’t participate on the selection committee that year but did catch wind that Beacon Publisher Paul Archipley, who himself won in 2008, had nominated her.

“That was an extremely unusual situation.”

The selection committee typically receives anywhere from three to 10 nomination letters each year, said Taylor, who added that some years get pretty thin.

“Usually it’s not a huge number and mostly that’s because people don’t write in to nominate people,” he said. “I think the more choices we have, the better.”

Taylor said the key to a winning nomination letter is one that details the accomplishments of the nominee in the areas of business and professional organizations, community organizations and community activities.

Nominees must live within the city of Mukilteo, must not be elected officials and must not be a paid promoter for the city.

Taylor suggested conferring with others who might be able to add further information about a nominee in order to make the nomination more robust and complete. That, he said, can only help the selection committee in its deliberations.

Beyond rounding up the nominee’s accomplishments, try to keep it quiet, Taylor said – the selection committee sure tries to.

“We know who is nominated and we don’t tell anybody,” Brown said. “We know how to keep our mouths shut.”

Though this is not a Kiwanis Club award, the award is presented to the selected citizen during a Kiwanis Club meeting either in late June or early July. After that, in late July, a reception is held at Harbour Pointe Assisted Living. This year’s will be the third such reception, at which the mayor typically introduces the winner and presents a plaque.

Winners receive no monetary award or titular duties, but their names are engraved on a plaque that hangs in the Rosehill Community Center, joining a list of past recipients.

The winner later rides in the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival parade, set for Sept. 9, after which the winner is honored at a Mukilteo Historical Society-sponsored ceremony at the lighthouse that same day with the Pioneer of the Year.

Any questions about the nomination process should be directed to Taylor at mukilteocitizenof2017@gmail.com or 425-330-0399.

 

Mukilteo Citizens of the Year, 1970-2016

 

1970 – George Losvar/David Burklund

1972 – Mrs. Bartle Kane

1973 – Mrs. Richard Pallas/Mrs. Randall Gersch

1974 ­– Jack Gribble/Wallace Brodniak

1975 – Orin Fry/Paul Kimball

1976 – Dr. & Mrs. Raymond Coffin

1977 – Mukilteo Volunteer Firemen

1978 – MaryLou Morrow/”Jinks” Losvar Hitchcock

1979 – Dick Taylor/Ed Taylor*

1980 – Larry Corbaley

1981 – Helen Wilkes

1982 – Emory Cole

1983 – Roger Stam

1984 – Chuck Davis

1986 – Tom Bannister

1987 – Nancy Titus

1988 – Bill Scheller

1989 – Lois Livingston

1990 – Opal McConnell

1991 – Carol Goldberg

1992 – Mim Loree

1993 – Bob McBride

1994 – Helen Merriman

1995 – Lois Bellemans Brown

1996 – Mike Daffron

1997 – Jeanie James

1998 – Linda Murray

1999 – Helen Conway

2000 – Chris Wilson

2001 – Earl “Skip” Kidd/Lynette Gardiner-Kidd

2002 – Bruce Brown

2003 – Pam Glasco

2004 – Tim Taylor

2005 – Ann Collier

2006 – Joann and Larry Ames

2007 – Don Doran

2008 – Paul Archipley

2009 – Tony McNulty

2010 – Ann Jordan

2011 – Elizabeth Erickson

2012 – Steve and Darlene Conkle

2013 – Kathy Wisbeck

2014 – John Collier

2014 – Jim Brice (posthumously awarded)

2015 – Stan Lundgaard

2016 – Debra Bordsen

*bolded names are those past recipients who are still alive

 

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