Council Selection Q&A

Following are questions received from applicants for the vacant Council seat and the City's responses.

Question 1
R.C.W. 42.12.070 (1) reads: Where one position is vacant, the remaining members of the governing body shall appoint A Qualified Person to fill the vacant position. Are there any City of Mill Creek policies addressing this process? How do the members of the Council of Mill Creek determine who to advance and make the recommendation for within the City of Mill Creek policies?

Response 1
The Council Governance Manual is the only City-level policy on Council appointments. The pertinent portion of the Manual is Section 4.8, which states the following:

If a vacancy occurs, the Council will follow the procedures provided in RCW 35A.13.020 and RCW 35A.12.050 in order to fill the vacancy with the most qualified person available until an election can be held. The Council will publish a notice of the vacancy, the procedure, and distribute the application form for soliciting candidates. The Council will draw up an application, which contains relevant information to answer set questions posed by the Council. The application forms will be used in conjunction with an interview of each candidate to aid the Council’s selection of the new Councilmember.

In answer to your first question, the Council is following that process in filling the existing vacant seat. In answer to your second, the Council will decide what the standards stated in Section 4.8 mean and how they should be applied. The City Attorney advises that this is common and consistent with state law, particularly RCW 35A.11.020, which generally provides that the Council is responsible to organize and regulate its internal affairs.

The Council may go into executive session under RCW 42.30.110 to evaluate the qualifications of the applicants. Candidate interviews will be held in open session, and the Council will also vote in open session to select and appoint the successful candidate. Assuming all six Councilmembers participate in that process, the appointment will require a nomination, second, and at least 4 affirmative votes.