Council Vacancy

Council Vacancy

On April 22, 2019 the Seattle City Council voted to appoint Abel Pacheco Jr. to fill the vacancy left by Councilmember Rob Johnson in Northeast Seattle’s District 4.

Why is There a Vacancy on the Seattle City Council?

Council President Bruce Harrell (District 2, South Seattle) announced a proposed process, outlined below, to fill the vacancy left by Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle). Johnson, who made his resignation known publicly on March 21, 2019, served in his elected capacity through Friday, April 5.

The City Charter gives the City Council 20 calendar days to fill a vacant Council position. This period begins April 6, 2019, the day following Johnson’s official resignation, and ends on April 25, 2019. As such, the last regular business day to make the decision within the 20-day period would be April 25, 2019.

From the date of the appointment, the newly appointed Councilmember who will be filling the vacancy will serve until November 26, 2019, the date all election results are certified by King County Elections, and the newly elected Councilmember representing District 4 takes the oath of office.

From Council President Harrell’s memo:

“...I believe we can have an open and expeditious process to appoint a new member within the 20-day period called for in the Charter. As stated in Article IV and Article XIX of the Charter, applicants shall ‘possess the qualifications required for election to such office’ and ‘a district member shall be a resident of the district represented for at least one hundred twenty (120) days.’ It would also be practical to seek a new Councilmember that would be qualified to chair the Planning, Land Use and Zoning committee vacated by Councilmember Johnson. Given the need for our new Councilmember to ‘hit the ground running’ and this fall’s election seven months away, I believe we should appoint an experienced ‘caretaker’ who agrees not to seek election to the Council this year.”

Latest News Releases for the Council Vacancy Process

Process for Filling the Council Vacancy

The Council will follow the process outlined below:

1.
Application Period:
Opens:
Monday, March 25, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.
Closes:
Friday, April 5, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter to the City Clerk. The City Charter requires applicants be a citizen of the United States and a registered voter of the City of Seattle. Applicants are encouraged to address prior experience with planning and land use, in their cover letter or reflected elsewhere in their materials as submitted.
2.
City Clerk Transmission of Applications to Councilmembers:
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
The City Clerk will provide to each Councilmember a notebook that includes all the applications received by the April 5, 5:00 p.m. deadline. The City Clerk will also post all applications on the Council and City Clerk’s websites, giving the public an opportunity to review the applications and submit comments via council@seattle.gov. Included in the notebook will be objective screening criteria such as previous planning, land use and zoning experience and the applicants’ completed Financial Interest Statement and Reference Authorization forms.
3.
City Council Executive Session to Discuss Qualifications:
Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
As permitted by the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), RCW 42.30.110 Executive Sessions, the Council will meet in executive session to discuss the qualifications of candidates. No decisions will be made in executive session.
4.
City Council Discussion at City Council Meeting:
Monday, April 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
The City Council will discuss a list of Qualified Applicants for the position at the City Council meeting.
5.
Public Forum (as memorialized in Ordinance 125479)
Monday, April 15, 2019
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
City Hall — Bertha Knight Landes Room (Floor 1)
600 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
More information
Watch Video
From the Seattle Municipal Code, “After the deadline for community entity submissions, the City Council shall develop a public forum to be hosted for interviewing applicants. The City Council shall consult with community entities, if any such entities make submissions and are selected by the City Council, the community entities can then inform the forum structure, questions, and accessibility considerations. Only applicants that submitted completed applications material may participate in the public forum.” SMC 3.93.010.C.

Note: An applicant must participate in the public forum and appear before the Council at the April 17, 2019 meeting to be eligible for appointment. SMC 3.93.010.F

We are asking the public, community organizations, and qualified applicants to hold this date for the public forum.
6.
Presentation by Qualified Applicants at Special City Council Meeting:
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
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The City Council will convene a special public meeting to hear 3-minute presentations from the qualified applicants, ask questions of the applicants, and receive comments from the public.
7.
City Council Appointment at City Council Meeting:
Monday, April 22, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
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The Council will vote to fill the vacancy at the City Council meeting.

In the event the Council fails to fill the vacant position by the end of that 20-day period (April 25), the Council must meet every business day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, thereafter and beginning on April 26 until the vacancy is filled (Charter Article XIX, Section 6).

List of Applicants

The following is a list of eligible applicants. The City has verified the applicants' eligibility as outlined in the City Charter. Their applications are viewable below:

First Name Last Name Application
Brooke Brod View Application
Darby DuComb View Application
Kathryn Gardow View Application
David Goldberg View Application
Jordan Goldwarg View Application
Sherae Lascelles View Application
Jay Lazerwitz View Application
Juan Martinez View Application
Abel Pacheco View Application
Marjorie Press View Application
Bruce Rips View Application
Maritza Rivera View Application
Luke Wigren View Application

Candidates who have withdrawn their applications are crossed off from the above list.

How Can the Public Provide Feedback on the Applicants?

Applicants' materials have been posted online for public review. Members of the public may provide feedback about the eligible applicants in multiple ways:

  • Emailing all Councilmembers at council@seattle.gov
  • Attending the community forum:
    • Monday, April 15, 2019 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
      City Hall — Bertha Knight Landes Room (Floor 1)
      600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Providing comment at the following City Council meetings:
    • City Council meeting on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers
    • Special City Council Meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers
    • City Council meeting on Monday, April 22, 2019, 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers

Community Organization Questions

The Council, in consultation with the community, worked to convene a Public Forum on April 15, 2019. Fifteen community organizations submitted 68 questions. Fourteen community organizations confirmed participation at the forum or expressed interest in participating.

All applicants were emailed the questions submitted from the community organizations. Applicants have the option to submit answers to the questions by emailing council@seattle.gov and responses will be posted in this section.

Applicants written responses:

At the Public Forum on Monday, the moderator asked all applicants 3 questions from the compiled list of community questions. Community organizations in attendance also had the opportunity to ask the applicants questions.

Watch the video of the Public Forum

How Long Will the Council Appointee Hold Office?

Because the vacant seat is up for election, the appointee will serve until the election results are certified on November 26, 2019, at which point the newly elected Councilmember for District 4 will be sworn in and immediately take office.