Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Olympia City Council Vacancy Attracts Eight Candidates

Councilmember Nathaniel Jones to Stay on Council

By Janine Gates

Eight candidates have applied for the appointment to Olympia City Council, Position #4, which will be vacant January 1 due to the election of Cheryl Selby as Mayor. The deadline to apply for the position was December 14.
The applications are now posted on the city website at

The candidates are Max Brown, Chase Gallagher, Clark Gilman, Karen Johnson, Paul Masiello, Allen Miller, Marco Rossi, and Peter Tassoni.

The person who is appointed will serve for approximately 23 months, until the November 2017 General Election results are certified.

Interviews will be held at 5:30 p.m. on January 4, 2016, and January 6, 2016, if needed, in the Olympia City Council Chambers, 601 4th Avenue East. The sessions will be open for public viewing and taped for replay on Thurston Community Television (TCTV).

After completing the initial interviews, the city council will decide the next steps in the process, such as whether to select an individual that evening, develop a short list of applicants for a second round of interviews or solicit additional applicants.

The city council has up to 90 days to make a selection. If a selection is not made within 90 days, the decision rests with the county board of commissioners per RCW 42.12.070.

The council intends, however, to appoint someone in time to participate as a member at the council’s annual goal setting retreat on January 8-9, 2016.

Jones Decides to Stay on Council

In an open letter provided to Little Hollywood on Monday, Olympia city councilmember Nathaniel Jones announced his intention to stay on the council, and not seek the state House of Representatives for the 22nd District.

“The enthusiastic support I have received from all corners of the district has been extraordinary.  I have been moved by the trust placed in me to represent the needs and the values of our community and our state,” says Jones in his letter.

“…I am not disappointed in my decision to stay with the City Council; this is not a concession, rather, the Council provides the best fit for me at this time.  I am excited about serving the City and I am convinced that this is the place where I can be the most effective.

“It was only a month ago that Olympia voters reelected me to the City Council.  These next four years present unique challenges for our community. The South Sound region is making a meaningful comeback from the Great Recession.  Olympia and its partners are at the heart of it all.  Rebuilding our economy and our community requires local leaders and an understanding of how this region works.

“…As we enter 2016 and the presidential campaign year, there are many local races and issues which need your attention.  Public policy issues affecting our community are at a cross-road; our education system depends on upon unreliable local districts across the state to meet basic needs, our energy systems are not evolving fast enough to overcome the negatives of fossil fuel dependence, our regressive tax structure does not reflect our intent, and both economic development and social equity lag.  Yet there is good news.  We know how to fix these issues; they can be addressed within our existing systems.  All we need is people who are willing to get involved and get creative.  We can affect the outcome of critical policy issues,” said Jones.