Thomas Dwyer was elected on April 27, 1893, as Everett’s first mayor. He was elected with only a three vote lead. In that same election, Everett voters also chose to incorporate their 5,000-person community as an official municipality, by a vote of 670 to 99. For a year prior to official incorporation, Everett was led by a group called “The Committee of Twenty-One.” This popularly elected body acted as a de facto authority to address issues of sanitation, public health, crime, and other pressing concerns.
The first official City Charter was adopted in 1893. It employed a mayor and council format and annual mayoral elections. Everett was led by 11 mayors under this Charter during its first 14 years.
Thomas “Ed” Dwyer was the first mayor of Everett. He served from May 1893 to January 1894, during a time of great economic turmoil. After the national and local economies collapsed in the “Panic of 1893,” Dwyer struggled to lead. Suffering significant personal financial losses, Dwyer did not remain long in Everett after his term ended.
Jacob Hunsaker served two non-consecutive terms as mayor, from 1895-1896 and 1903-1904. Hunsaker was the first Everett mayor to live out the remainder of his life in the community.
Mayor of Everett Arthur C. Edwards and wife with Mrs. Bert Brush in Studebaker. A.C. Edwards was a finance commissioner who served as mayor from 1932-1940. He came to Everett shortly before World War I, and worked in law, real estate, and insurance. He was respected for his leadership during the Great Depression and World War II. Edwards died in 1946 in Pennsylvania. (1912, Bert Brush photo)
Roland Hill Hartley and wife Nina Clough Hartley, with their children Edward, William, and Mary in front of their family mansion at 2320 Rucker Avenue. A controversial figure with strong industrial and political connections, Hartley was Everett’s 13th mayor and Washington’s 10th governor. (1918, J.A. Juleen photo)
Arthur C. Edwards, Everett mayor from 1932-1940 is pictured, at center, with four other business and civic leaders from Everett. Photo taken in front of the Snohomish County Courthouse, circa 1940.
Lew V. Day (left), former Everett store manager and executive vice president of the J.C. Penney Co., and Donald Gillette, store manager, look on as Mayor George Culmback snips the ribbon to formally open the newly remodeled J.C. Penney store in downtown Everett. (March 14, 1957, Ken Knudson photo, Everett Herald)
Everett City Councilwoman Joyce Ebert became the first woman to serve as Everett’s mayor. As City Council President, she served out the last two months of Mayor Robert C. Anderson’s term in 1977. She is pictured here presiding over a council meeting with Councilman Moe Michelson. Ebert is also the first Everett mayor to have been born in Washington. (1977, Neil House photo)
Mayor Robert C. Anderson, left, pictured biking to Everett’s first McDonald’s restaurant at 75th and Evergreen Way. Anderson was the first mayor to serve under Everett’s current charter. He served for nearly a decade, with an emphasis on economic vitality in the central business district and managing the economic impacts of the Boeing recession. He resigned before completing his final term to accept an executive position at Olympic Bank. (Circa 1975, Neil House photo)
Bill Moore checks in with City Council office secretary, Lois Morton. Moore served on City Council from 1968-1971 and 1976-1977. He served as mayor from 1978-1989. As mayor, Moore prioritized fiscal management and infrastructure. He led the efforts to secure the Navy homeport in Everett. (Circa 1976, Neil House photo)
Mayor-elect Cassie Franklin at a National Night Out celebration in 2016. Franklin was the first woman elected mayor of Everett. She previously served on City Council and as CEO of Cocoon House, a nationally recognized non-profit praised for its innovative solutions to homelessness.
In 1907, when Everett’s population surpassed 10,000, the city passed a First-Class Charter. The new charter preserved the mayor and council format and extended the mayor’s term to two years. By this time, Everett had completely recovered from the devastating economic depression to become a thriving industrial city. Notably, Roland Hill Hartley launched his political career as mayor during this era. His tenure was marked by significant controversy and conflict, particularly around issues of local prohibition. Hartley went on to serve in the Washington State Legislature and two terms as Governor of Washington.
The political structure of the City changed again in 1912 with the adoption of a commission charter. The mayor was chosen from a small group of city commissioners, and the role was largely honorary. The City functioned under this form of government for 56 years with 15 mayors. Mayors from 1912 to 1968 wielded far less authority than those governing before and after them. Lacking significant executive power, the role of mayor was largely symbolic during this era.
The passage of a new charter in 1968 marked the beginning of our current political era. The charter eliminated the commissioner form of government and implemented a strong mayor and council form. The term “strong mayor” does not reflect any judgment of an individual’s skills or attributes. Rather, it denotes the consolidation of power and authority within the position.
Mayor Robert C. Anderson was the first mayor to serve under the new city charter and he held the position for nine years. Anderson resigned in October 1977 for a banking job. City Council President Joyce Ebert served out the remaining two months of his term. Ebert became Everett’s first female mayor, and she was the first mayor born in Washington. Five more men served as mayor after Ebert. Ray Stephanson holds the distinction of being Everett’s longest-serving mayor, with service from 2003 to 2017. In January 2018, Cassie Franklin will become Everett’s first elected female mayor.