With little else before them on Tuesday, members of the Spokane Valley City Council got down to the business of replacing one of their own.
The council unanimously agreed -- minus Bob McCaslin, who is still recovering from surgery -- to follow through on a process outlined last week that would have a new member at the dais by the end of March.
The council technically has 90 days to replace Rose Dempsey, who announced she was quitting the council on Jan. 18. If the council fails to act in that time, Spokane County commissioners would be charged with naming someone to complete Dempsey’s term, which expires at the end of 2011.
Dempsey said she resigned for health reasons and for feeling marginalized by the majority of the council. A decision to remove the city center zone designation from the Sprague-Appleway Revitalization Plan, she said, was the last straw.
“I realized there is never going to be any consensus on the council for the next 11 months,” she said.
Tuesday’s official action by the council means the city can now officially begin to accept applications, which will be accepted through March 4 at 4 p.m., for the vacant seat.
“That’s been made clear,” said City Manager Mike Jackson.
The city will advertise the position through Feb. 25, and late arriving applications will not be accepted.
On March 9, the council plans to hold an executive session -- where the public is excluded from attending -- in order to discuss qualifications of the applicants. The council then intends to come out of session to announce which applicants it will interview.
Interviews will be held in an open meeting on March 22. Council members have been tasked to come up with questions they want answered at that time.
Another executive session will be held to discuss the candidates’ answers, and the council will then make its choice March 29 – four affirmative votes from council members will end the process and the interim council member will be selected.
“I think that looks good,” said Council Member Bill Gothmann on Tuesday. “I’m glad for the way it’s covered in detail.”
The council, however, has the option to tweak the timeline if need be.
Once appointed, the interim council member will hold the position until Nov. 29, after votes have been certified for the general election. At that time, the elected council member will be sworn in.
State law requires that potential council members must be a Spokane Valley resident for at least one year and be a registered voter at the time of application. Council positions serve in an at-large capacity.
Applications may be found on the city’s Web site, www.spokanevalley.org. Any questions about the application process may be directed to Chris Bainbridge, city clerk, at 720-5102.
Applications may be hand-delivered or mailed to: Chris Bainbridge, City Clerk, Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague Ave. Suite 106, Spokane Valley, WA 99206. They cannot be faxed or e-mailed.