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WANTED: Seattle City Council member available for short-term replacement, uninterested in challenging status quo

(Image: Seattle City Council)

(Image: Seattle City Council)

Seattle City Council member Sally Clark’s retirement is coming early and the city’s legislative branch is beginning a search for her short-term replacement. There’s only one catch.

“Given the Council’s work and the unprecedented character of this fall’s election, I believe we should appoint an experienced ‘caretaker’ who pledges not to seek election to the Council this year,” Council president Tim Burgess said Thursday in a statement.

CHS reported earlier on the flood of City Hall newbies throwing hats in the ring for the city’s first ever district-based City Council election.

With the opportunity to lead on appointing Clark’s short-term replacement, Burgess’s call for a pledge not to run eliminates his opponents for the at-large City Council Position 9 seat. Sorry tenant champion Jon Grant. You, too, City Council chambers troll Alex Tsimerman.

As for Clark, she’s off to a job at the University of Washington where she’ll be director of regional and community relations. Clark, some might recall, was appointed to the Council back in 2006. In 2007, she ran for the seat and, of course, won.

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6 thoughts on “WANTED: Seattle City Council member available for short-term replacement, uninterested in challenging status quo

  1. Seems like a move by the UW to overcome public resistance to their plan to remake the U District into a second South Lake Union by taxing owners of small holdings. Developer-friendly ex-Council member familiar with meaningless public process lands job with developer.

    • The actual plan for the U District is for bearded, flannel shirted hipsters with heaping amounts of white guilt to tip the population to a majority of homeless to teach those “privileged” students a lesson while developers simultaneously go on a building rampage of “market rate” new apartments with no parking. Of course the random and almost useless collection of businesses on The Ave will diminish further as students and people with jobs give the whole thing a miss. Ah, the future…..

  2. If Burgess and crew are smart, they’ll find a pleasant and amiable “caretaker” who will then mysteriously be “recruited” to run for the seat by a “grassroots” effort (that nobody will be able to figure out who is behind it) and then use the power of incumbency and name recognition to beat out the who’s who of other nobodies running.

  3. Why bother with a caretaker appointment at all? Council members don’t represent any specific constituencies, so being down 1 (in the pre-district structure of the council) shouldn’t really harm the city. In fact, appointing a council member in the interim, who also does not represent any specific constituency (geographic or otherwise) and will just do the bidding of the majority, is probably worse than having a council seat empty.

    As for pledges not to run: has Burgess made it past the first 3 episodes of season 3 of House Of Cards?

    • On the other hand, taking Burgess at his word, he’s putting the value of protecting election chances of incumbents (by denying temporary seat to any viable challengers) above the value of having the best people on the city council. This is pretty transparent about what’s important to incumbent politicians: insuring re-election by manipulating the system.

      At least now I know, never to vote for Burgess unless I want a political class that will put their own careers first ahead of what’s best for the city.

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