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King County Council sets process for filling seat to be vacated by Councilmember Constantine


Panel of 12 community leaders to interview candidates by Dec. 3, with Council appointment of a new representative for District 8 by Dec. 14


A panel of 12 community leaders was named today by the Metropolitan King County Council to evaluate candidates for appointment to the Council seat that will become vacant when Council Chair Dow Constantine is sworn in next week as King County Executive.

“The Council is acting quickly to ensure representation for the nearly 200,000 residents of District 8,” said Council Vice Chair Bob Ferguson, prime sponsor of the ordinance. “Timely appointment will also allow the new councilmember to transition into the position, hire staff and hit the ground running in the new year.”

The motion adopted today names a 12-member advisory committee of community leaders and elected officials who live or work in Council District 8, and who represent the geographic, economic, and ethnic diversity of the district.

Under the legislation, applicants for the impending Council vacancy must submit application materials to the Clerk of the Council by 4:00 p.m., November 23, including a resume, a brief written explanation of how they meet the criteria for appointment, and a statement of whether they intend to run for election as the Councilmember for District 8 in November 2010.

The advisory committee will meet no later than December 3 to interview qualified applicants and recommend three to six candidates for consideration by the County Council. The committee’s recommendations will include at least one candidate who intends to run for election as Councilmember in 2010, and one who does not.

The King County Council has final authority for making the appointment, and under the legislation will take action by December 14. The appointee would serve in office until certification of the next general election in November 2010.

“I am pleased with the composition of the advisory board,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “I am confident they will forward the County Council a qualified pool of applicants for the next representative of District 8.”

Named today to the advisory committee are:

• Co-Chair Anne Levinson, co-owner of the Seattle Storm, former Seattle Municipal Court Judge, former chair of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission,
• Co-Chair Mark Okazaki, Executive Director of Neighborhood House, a human service agency with facilities in High Point and Greenbridge,
• Aileen Balahadia, Executive Director of the White Center Community Development Association,
• Steve Daschle, Executive Director of Southwest Youth and Family Services,
• Tom Dean, Executive Director of the Vashon/Maury Island Land Trust,
• David Johnson, CEO of NAVOS, a mental health care facility that provides housing,
• Joan McGilton, Mayor of Burien,
• Patti Mullen, West Seattle business owner,
• Behnaz Nelson, co-chair of the King County Coalition of Unions,
• Kathy Nyland, chair of the Georgetown Merchants Association and chair of the City Neighborhood Association,
• Doug Osterman, Normandy Park City Councilmember,
• Chris Porter, business owner and a nurse practitioner who is active on park and recreation issues.

“I have a lot of confidence in this stellar group of citizens, led by co-chairs Anne Levinson and Mark Okazaki who have made so many outstanding contributions to our community,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “They will no doubt conduct a careful vetting process and offer thoughtful recommendations about the next representative for Council District 8.”

“I support the appointment process and its expedited timeline,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson. “The longer we wait to appoint a replacement, the longer the nearly 200,000 residents in District 8 are without a representative and advocate on the King County Council.”

Under the legislation the advisory committee would use the following criteria to evaluate candidates, including:

• Knowledge of the functions of King County government;
• Knowledge of the issues and challenges facing King County government;
• Knowledge of the issues affecting the constituents of Council District 8;
• A demonstrated ability to develop a responsible budget;
• A demonstrated ability to respond to public concerns; and
• Demonstrated leadership skills.

The process is similar to that adopted earlier this year to fill vacancies in the offices of County Executive and County Assessor. Previously, the political party of the Council member vacating the office would submit nominees for an appointed successor, but voters last year amended the King County Charter to make most countywide offices non-partisan, including Council district seats.

Council District 8 encompasses West Seattle, North Highline, Vashon/Maury Islands, Burien, Normandy Park, SoDo, the International District/Chinatown, Pioneer Square, East Beacon Hill, and portions of the cities of SeaTac and Tukwila.

Application materials can be sent by mail or electronically. The mailing address is:

Clerk of the Council
516 Third Avenue, Room W-1039
Seattle, WA, 98104

E-mail applications can be sent to the Clerk at Her phone number is 206-296-0364.

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