Council sets quick process to fill vacancy
EVERETT - The City Council wants to fill retiring member Arlan Hatloe’s seat by the end of this month.
The council will select its next member Thursday, Dec. 27. Former Councilwoman Gigi Burke and recent council candidate June Robinson are two top names in the running.
The window to send letters of interest and resumes closes Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. Applicants must get their applications into the city clerk’s office at 2930 Wetmore Ave. by then. No latecomers accepted, Council President Ron Gipson said.
Council members will nominate their preferred candidate by Monday, Dec. 17. Gipson will make the nominations public Tuesday, Dec. 18 and public interviews are scheduled to happen at the council’s 12:30 p.m. meeting Thursday, Dec. 27. Because of Christmas, the council isn’t meeting on its normal Wednesday schedule that week.
The council is following the same application procedure used in June to fill the seat of the late Councilman Drew Nielsen, which Burke won.
Two weeks ago, Hatloe, 73, surprised his fellow members with his retirement announcement. His last day is Dec. 31. The appointed candidate will fill Hatloe’s seat until the end of next year when Hatloe’s term expires.
Resident Angela Krisinger pushed the council to consider the public’s recent voting history in its appointment process, referring to Robinson’s close election against Councilman Scott Bader for Nielsen’s seat.
Robinson received 15,195 votes to Bader’s 16,979 votes.
Unlike a public vote, the appointment process is decided by the seven-member City Council.
In the election, Robinson received endorsements from Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher and Councilman Paul Roberts. Bader had the support from the rest of the council.
Burke, who has never run for office, endorsed Bader. She was planning to run next November for Hatloe’s seat.
Gipson said post meeting he wouldn’t change the fast-tracked process.
“The process is the process,” Gipson said.
The council has time to select a candidate by Jan. 31, but Gipson wanted the decision made before he hands over the council presidency to president-elect Jeff Moore at the start of the year.
If no candidate get the majority vote in the first council vote, the council will eliminate the least-voted candidate and vote again. The council will continue this process until a candidate is selected.
If no candidate is picked by Jan. 31, Mayor Ray Stephanson will make a selection.