As you may have heard, Sally Clark had decided not to run again for City Council. But now she has taken a job at UW - some kind of city relations thing - and she's leaving her Council position on April 12.
The City Council will be appointing her successor (just as the School Board does if someone leaves early) by April 27th. They say they want a "placeholder."
From Publicola (they have a complete calendar of events for this process):
With a wild first-ever district elections election already under way (there are 40 candidates in the mix), the council is going to fill Clark's spot with an appointee who is not currently running for council and who promises not to parlay the gig into a candidacy; in short, it will be a placeholder spot.
Okay, so is that "promise" something anyone could be held to? Probably not but, on the other hand, there might be people willing to do that kind of caretaker spot.
Here's how it goes:
The council will accept applications, will whittle it down to qualified candidates (it's "not clear," council spokeswoman Dana Slote Robinson says, if a majority of the council members have to agree on that list), and then hold a public hearing process where the contenders have three minutes to present. A simple majority, five council members, would have to agree on the appointee.
As I asked in the Comments about who makes the final Council list:
Will it be like voir dire where they get to blackball people they don't want?Again, from Publicola:
Will they only pick candidates they feel confident will not turn around and run for office, meaning, a REAL caretaker?
And, what do we want in a caretaker councilperson? Would it be different than someone who has the job an entire term? I think so.
Clark is the chair of the human services committee, so the council says the winning candidate has to have professional experience and background in housing and human services issues and must have public service experience. Former council members (Jan Drago?) seem like a likely pick.
Actually, I think Drago could be a good pick (after all, she knows the gig). BUT, what if some people on the Council see this as an opp to get someone who will side with them until November?
Naturally, this is quite the fun parlor game but it could influence the School Board races. What if someone who was thinking of the Board wants to try for this spot? It would be interesting to see the same name on the list of possibles for the City Council, have that person not get the position only to turn around and run for School Board in November?
And what if someone currently or formerly on the Board were to try for the position? Interesting, no?