Complaint filed alleging Olympia council candidate doesn’t live in Olympia

Complaint filed alleging Olympia council candidate doesn’t live in Olympia

Michael Snodgrass, a candidate for Olympia City Council who lost the primary election in August, has filed a complaint accusing candidate Lisa Parshley of running for a seat she isn’t eligible for.

Snodgrass says that Parshley doesn’t live within Olympia city limits. She is registered to vote and legally resides in the 1000 block of 4th Avenue, but also owns a home in the Boston Harbor area, which is legally outside of Olympia. But the 4th Avenue location is registered as a commercial building, and serves as a campaign office.

Parshley denies Snodgrass’ allegations, saying she and her husband have lived on 4th Avenue since 2014. She said the location is close to both of their veterinary offices downtown. She also said that they “partially” own the Boston Harbor home that has been in their family since the 1960s, but they don’t live there.

“I live (on Fourth Avenue) and I have since 2014. I was a little bit surprised when I heard about this.” Parshley told the Olympian.

Snodgrass said that as a candidate in the primary, he was invited to campaign-related events at the Fourth Avenue building. “I thought it was an office,” Snodgrass said. “I’d gone there, I know where it is, I know it’s an office.” He also said he finds it hard to believe that she would live at her campaign office instead of the Boston Harbor home.

Thurston County’s Canvassing Board held its first meeting on the issue Monday afternoon, then will hear discovery on Wednesday, and make a final decision on Oct. 9. However, the board’s decision will have no bearing on her candidacy for Olympia City Council.

The Canvassing Board — made up of County Auditor Mary Hall, County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim and County Commission Chair Bud Blake — will decide whether Parshley is properly registered to vote.

Her name will appear on the November ballot regardless. Any challenges to her ability to serve on the Olympia City Council, should she win the seat, would have to be made in Thurston County Superior Court.

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