Councilmember Sally J. Clark announced this morning that she will step down from her position on the City Council effective 5:00 p.m. Sunday, April 12, to take on a new challenge at the University of Washington. Here is the statement I issued in response to this news:
Councilmember Clark has been a dedicated, hard-working public official for the people of Seattle. I deeply appreciate her thoughtful approach to policy development, disarming leadership style, and sharp wit. She tackled projects of incredible complexity with patience, diligence, and grace. She is a trustworthy colleague and a good friend. Sally will be missed at City Hall.
The Council will now conduct a process to appoint someone to fill the upcoming vacancy.I believe we can have an open and expeditious process to appoint a new member within the 20-day period called for in the City Charter. The Council's work over the next several months is particularly significant and we cannot slow down. 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.
In this context, we need someone who can hit the ground running. It is important that candidates for appointment understand city government and the public policy issues associated with the Council's Committee on Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency; demonstrate a commitment to social justice and the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively across cultures and with diverse populations; and desire to serve the people of Seattle and assume the responsibilities and accountability inherent in the work of a Councilmember.
You can find more details about the process at http://www.seattle.gov/council/vacancy/.