Arlington City Council sets timeline to select Solla's successor

ARLINGTON — The Arlington City Council has approved a timeline for filling the seat left vacant by Council member Scott Solla's passing.

The city of Arlington is calculating their 90-day window to select a new Council member to serve out Solla's term retroactive from Sept. 3 of this year, which would give the Council a deadline of Dec. 1 to appoint Solla's successor.

On Sept. 19, the Council unanimously approved a slightly revised version of the schedule that was proposed during its Sept. 12 workshop meeting, which sets a deadline of Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. for prospective candidates for Solla's Council seat to apply for the position, after which the current Council members will review the applications during their Nov. 14 workshop meeting. Interviews of the candidates will be conducted during open public meetings on Nov. 16 and possibly Nov. 17 as well, depending on the number of applications received.

"With half an hour set aside for each candidate, the Council could interview as many as eight candidates each evening," Arlington Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield said.

From there, the Council will review the candidates during an executive session on Nov. 28, before deciding which candidate to select as Solla's successor during an open session either that same evening or on Nov. 29.

"Nov. 28 would normally be the Council's workshop meeting, so they'll convene a special meeting for their decision that will be open to the public," Banfield said.

Arlington City Attorney Steve Peiffle emphasized that the Arlington City Council must select a new Council member within the 90-day window, or else the right to appoint that City Council member will cede over to the Snohomish County Council.

"We needed to schedule around the Nov. 8 general election and the Thanksgiving holiday," said Peiffle, who noted that some candidates for Solla's seat might not know whether they're available to apply for that seat before the results of the county's general election are released. "Whoever is selected to fill this vacancy would serve out the remainder of the term, through the fall of 2013."

Banfield likewise noted that this schedule is designed to avoid a conflict with the city Planning Commission meeting on Nov. 15. Peiffle added that possibly extending the interviews into Nov. 17 would not only allow the Council to interview a larger number of candidates, but would also accommodate the schedules of candidates who would be unavailable on Nov. 16.

Peiffle and Banfield agreed that applications are welcome to be dropped off at Arlington City Hall in person, or sent via postal mail or fax, but cannot be accepted by email.

"We need physical copies," Peiffle said. "In the interests of fairness, we don't want to risk someone emailing their application in before the deadline, but having it get caught by the spam filter."

To send your application by postal mail, address it "Attention: City Clerk" to Arlington City Hall, 238 N. Olympic Ave., Arlington, WA 98223-1337. To fax it in, dial 360-403-4605.

Application forms are available on the city of Arlington's web site at www.arlingtonwa.gov, at Arlington City Hall or by calling the Arlington mayor's office at 360-403-3441.

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