City Council seeks applicants for open seat
January 8, 2013
By Warren Kagarise
From the moment Mark Mullet declared victory in a state Senate race in November, other City Council members started planning for the process to fill Mullet’s seat once the Democrat departs for Olympia.
Now, council members have put out a call for applicants for the open seat. The position is not expected to remain open for long.
The city is accepting applications until Jan. 16. The council plans to interview applicants Jan. 22 and, after interviews, members could recess into a closed-door executive session to discuss candidates’ qualifications.
Under state law, the council can discuss candidates’ qualifications in a closed-door session, but interviews and the decision must occur in public meetings. The council is scheduled to vote on the appointment Jan. 29.
City Council candidates for the Position 1 seat must send a letter of interest and a completed application to the City Clerk’s Office via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, in person at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, or via mail to City Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027. Jan. 16 is the application deadline.
Find the application at www.issaquahwa.gov.
Qualified applicants must be at least 18 years old, a registered voter and a city resident for at least one year prior to appointment.
Members serve at large and represent the entire city, rather than specific neighborhoods or defined geographic areas.
Members earn $700 per month. The deputy council president receives $750 per month and the council president earns $800 per month.
The appointee is expected to serve until the November 2013 election, and he or she could run for the seat then.
Qualified applicants must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter, and a city resident for at least one year prior to appointment.
“I, personally, would like someone who is focused on finding a balance between the business community and the environmental community,” Mullet said in a Jan. 4 interview. “That’s my ideal candidate — someone who’s hard to label as being more solidly in favor of one side than the other.”
The council faces potential 3-3 ties on decisions at the Jan. 22 meeting, although members do not expect to vote on major projects then. Mayor Ava Frisinger casts the tie-breaking vote when needed.
The appointment process is similar to the steps used to fill vacant council seats in 2011, 2006 and 1998.
The most recent open seat attracted nine applicants, including city board and commission members, longtime community leaders and political newcomers.
The council last appointed a member in March 2011, after members selected attorney Stacy Goodman to fill the seat once held by Maureen McCarry.
Goodman remembers the application and interview process as a demanding process with no room for error.
“That’s your one shot to sell yourself and your strengths,” she said.
Goodman later ran unopposed and won the seat in November 2011. The runner-up in the council vote to fill McCarry’s seat, Paul Winterstein, also won a seat on the council then.