Wanted – Renton’s new councilmember

City Council sets appointment guidelines

Want to be Renton’s next councilmember?

The city council has just announced a tentative timeline for those interested in an upcoming vacant seat, as well as the official changes to be made to the appointment process.

Renton City Council wanted to increase the efficiency of their candidate appointment process this time around, as previously reported in the Renton Reporter. On Monday, Dec. 9, council approved for first reading, changes to the policy in preparation for appointing a candidate to Armondo Pavone’s seat, who takes the reigns as mayor beginning in 2020.

The new policy allows council to discuss the merits of candidates in executive session if they choose, previously the policy stated discussions must happen in open session. Changes in the new policy also include a council questionnaire for all applicants, to help determine interviewees.

At the next city council meeting, Jan. 6 2020, council will announce the vacancy and explain what is needed to apply. Then council will likely vote to set an application submission deadline of Jan. 22, 2020. According to the new policy the application will ask for a letter of interest, a resume, a completed council questionnaire and optionally allow for letters of recommendation/support.

After the deadline, council will review packets, possibly at the Jan. 23, 2020 meeting. Then council will deliberate and select up to six candidates for interview. The council can also majority-vote to appoint a candidate and cancel the interview process.

Staff, in a document outlining a tentative timeline, recommends council hold interviews of applicants on Feb. 3, 2020. It is likely council will then appoint one of the interviewees at the same meeting. No public testimony regarding applicants or their applications will be accepted.

The council will be able to nominate up to six candidates, but are not required to each select a different applicant. The candidate interviews may be limited to 30 minutes each, at discretion of the council president (which next year is councilmember Ruth Pérez). The questions will be predetermined by council, and each candidate receives the same questions. As in previous appointments, a nominee must receive a majority of four councilmembers’ votes to take the seat.

Applicants can only be considered if they are registered to vote and have lived in Renton city limits for at least one year. For more information on the new policy or application questions, contact the City Clerk’s office.

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