Metropolitan King County Council
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
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June 22, 2009
Committee to evaluate potential appointees for King County Assessor
Transparent process will favor those who are not seeking election to the officeA committee of citizen experts and elected officials will help evaluate candidates for appointment to the vacant office of King County Assessor, under legislation adopted today by the Metropolitan King County Council.
“Citizens throughout King County are directly impacted by the position of King County Assessor,” said Vice Chair Bob Ferguson, prime sponsor of the legislation. “This legislation ensures an open appointment process to guarantee that a highly qualified individual serves in the interim position.”
“By including respected community stakeholders and receiving their input, the council will have a valuable set of voices to guide this important appointment,” said Vice Chair Jane Hague, co-sponsor of the motion. “Evaluating candidates in an open and transparent process will give the public more confidence in our appointment.”
“This motion establishes a speedy, but thorough process to select a candidate to serve as assessor until the voters choose a permanent office-holder in November,” said Council Chair Dow Constantine, co-sponsor of the motion. “Like the process this Council created to review King County Executive candidates, these proceedings will be conducted openly and fairly.”
Former Assessor Scott Noble resigned on June 18, a day before his sentencing on a felony charge of vehicular assault that required him to forfeit his office. Under the County Charter, Deputy Assessor Rich Medved is serving as Interim Assessor until an Assessor is appointed. The appointee will serve until the results of the general election are certified in late November.
Under the motion adopted today, applicants for the appointment have until noon on Monday, July 6 to submit to the Clerk of the Council a written statement of interest, a resume, three references, and answers to five questions pertaining to the position. A five-member panel will review and evaluate the applications received.
By Friday, July 10 the Committee is expected to recommend 2 to 5 names to the King County Council for non-binding consideration. Ferguson, chair of the Council’s Committee of the Whole, said he will hold a special meeting of his committee on Monday, July 13, at 9:00 a.m. to interview candidates, with a final appointment by the County Council expected at its afternoon meeting.
Serving on the evaluation committee will be:
• Duvall Mayor Will Ibershof, representative from the Suburban Cities Association,
• Jim Dierst, a member of Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS®,
• King County Executive Chief of Staff Noel Treat,
• King County Council Chief of Staff Tom Bristow, and
• A fifth member to be chosen by the other four.
The panel will meet on an expedited schedule to evaluate the qualifications of eligible candidates against the following criteria:
• Demonstrated leadership skills;
• Appropriate education, training, and experience;
• Demonstrated proficiency in problem solving, interpreting statutory and regulatory requirements, conducting good public relations, and maintaining effective group and interpersonal relationships;
• Demonstrated ability to respond to public concerns about the policies and practices of the county Department of Assessments including, but not limited to, meeting with taxpayer groups, officials and individuals and attorneys to discuss assessment practices and issues, and to ensure that taxpayers’ concerns are reviewed and addressed;
• A commitment to maintaining the functions and structure of the county department of assessments without disruption during the election of a new County Assessor; and
• A commitment to the immediate business of the county Department of Assessments that would make it unlikely that the appointee would run for any elective office while serving as the appointed Assessor.
The five questions to which applicants must submit answers are:
1. What are the duties of the King County Assessor as you understand them?
2. What do you consider the most important qualifications of an excellent county assessor, and why?
3. What are your qualifications for serving as county assessor?
4. Do you intend to run for the office of King County Assessor in the November 2009 general election?
5. Why are you interested in this temporary appointment?