BREMERTON — The Bremerton City Council will get a new member after Greg Wheeler takes office as mayor on Jan. 1.
Wheeler’s term as council member from District 4 expires on Dec. 31, 2019, which means the council will appoint someone to complete his term.
Applications are now being accepted for the District 4 position. Applications are available at the Norm Dicks Goverment Center, 345 Sixth St., in Bremerton, or on the city website, www.bremertonwa.gov. Application deadline is Jan. 5, 2018.
The Bremerton City Charter, Article II, Section 10, states the council is “required to appoint a replacement, with a term beginning immediately from the date of the appointee’s swearing in, to the date of the certification of the next municipal general election,” which will be Nov. 5, 2019.
City Council legislative assistant Lori Smith said the council customarily issues a press release “announcing a request for qualified applicants from the district with the vacancy, and a deadline for submitting the application.”
Once applications are submitted, Smith said the council will schedule a special meeting to interview all qualified candidates, “typically using a list of pre-selected interview questions.” Then, an executive session “will be included as part of the special meeting to ‘evaluate the qualified applicants.’” (RCW 42.30.110 allows council “to evaluate the qualifications of a candidate for appointment to elective office” in a meeting closed to the public.)
Smith said the council will then appoint the new council member in public session.
Qualified candidates must live in the district. The questions asked on the application include the reason for applying, qualifications, and community interests among other things.
“A swearing-in ceremony will then be scheduled, usually immediately prior to the next council meeting, where the new council member can be sworn in and then take their seat at the dais,” Smith said.
Smith said on Nov. 17 there isn’t yet a schedule, but she expects Wheeler’s replacement will be appointed in January.
Wheeler was elected mayor on Nov. 4, defeating incumbent Patty Lent 3,955 votes to 3,200 votes, according to updated results released on Nov. 15 by the Kitsap County Auditor Elections Office.
Pat Sullivan, who was appointed to c0mplete the term of her late husband, Mike Sullivan, was elected to a full term from District 1, receiving 570 votes to Suzanne Griffith’s 437.
Kevin Gorman was elected to the council from District 3, receiving 889 votes to Adam Brockus’ 513. Gorman will succeed Jerry McDonald, who did not run for re-election.
Michael Goodnow was elected to the council from District 5, receiving 410 votes to Melissa Kinzer’s 255. Goodnow will succeed Dino Davis, who did not run for re-election.
Eric Younger was unopposed in his bid for re-election from District 7.
City Council members are elected to four-year terms and receive $12,000 to $13,800 a year, depending on when they were elected. According to the city website, council members establish goals, priorities, and policies; adopt ordinances and resolutions; approve the annual budget; and monitor expenditures related to city business throughout the year. The council meets at 5 p.m. Wednesdays.
— Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.