After public calls for an open process, the Seattle City Council has announced it will accept applications for the seat vacated by Tim Burgess. After former mayor Ed Murray resigned, the council appointed Burgess mayor on Monday. His council seat is now vacant until November 28, when election results are certified and either Jon Grant or Teresa Mosqueda is sworn in.
The council will take applications next week, then hold two community forums with the candidates. The full council will vote on who to appoint at a special council meeting on October 6.
Former council member Nick Licata and Gender Justice League Executive Director Danni Askini have confirmed to The Stranger they plan to apply for the seat.
Askini, herself a survivor of sexual abuse, was outspoken in calling on Murray to resign after allegations that he sexually abused five teenagers in the 1970s and 80s. Since the allegations, Askini has called on the city council to increase funding for survivors of sexual violence in the upcoming budget. Burgess will present that budget Monday and the council will then debate changes to it. Whoever is appointed interim council member will be able to propose and vote on changes.
The council could have filled Burgess's seat either by appointing someone right away or by accepting and reviewing applications and then appointing one of those applicants. Some council members wanted the former in order to speed up the seating of a new council member because of the budget process. Others called for an open application process.
Today, Council President Bruce Harrell announced the application process "in the spirit of true democracy."
Here are all the details from Harrell's office:
Application Period: September 25 at 8:00 a.m. through October 1 at 5:00 p.m:
Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter to the City Clerk and an option to provide three references or reference letters. The City Charter requires applicants be a citizen of the United States and a registered voter of the City of Seattle.
Submissions can be made in the following manner(s):
• By email: CouncilAppointmentApplications@seattle.gov
• In person: Seattle City Hall, Office of the City Clerk, 3rd Floor (600 Fourth Ave)
• By mail: Office of the City Clerk PO Box 94728 Seattle, WA 98124-4728
• By fax: 206-386-9025
* All documents received are subject to Public Disclosure.
City Clerk Transmission of Applications to Councilmembers: Tuesday, October 3, 2017.
The City Clerk will provide to each Councilmember a notebook that includes all the applications received by the October 1 deadline. The City Clerk will also post all applications on the Council and City Clerk’s website on October 3 at 5:00 p.m., giving the public opportunity to review the applications and submit comments. Included in this notebook will be objective screening criteria such as previous budget experience as well as documentation from the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission that such candidate is eligible to serve as a Councilmember.
Week of October 2 to October 5. Two Optional Community Forums in Bertha Knight Landes Room, time and format TBD.
This process will be facilitated by interested Councilmembers but is intended to be led by community groups (to be determined). Its purpose is to allow community members to meet and ask questions of the applicants. An applicant may attend one of the forums and nonattendance will not be weighed against the candidate.
Week of October 2 to October 5. Councilmember conferences, optional.
Each Councilmember may meet and confer with any and all candidates of their choice in order to make an informed decision within the 20-day deadline.
Special Full Council Meeting: Wednesday, October 4, 5:00 p.m.
Public comment period for community members.
City Council Executive Session to Discuss Qualifications: Thursday, October 5, 9:30 a.m.
As permitted by the Open Public Meetings Act, the Council will meet in executive session to discuss the qualifications of candidates.
City Council Appointment at Special Full Council Meeting: Friday, October 6, 2:00 p.m.
The Council will vote to fill the vacancy at the Special Full Council meeting.