The newest — albeit temporary — member of the Tacoma City Council is Joseph Lopez, an attorney who works for a law firm in Seattle.
Council members selected Lopez Tuesday to temporarily fill in for Councilman Anders Ibsen, who is taking a leave of absence to train as an officer in the Marine Corps reserves.
Lopez was picked over fourteen other candidates who publicly interviewed Tuesday for the temporary position representing Tacoma’s District 1, which includes includes parts of the North and West ends.
Council members said they picked Lopez partly because he understands the issues facing Tacoma residents who commute.
“He knows the plight of so many of our constituents who commute north or south or sometimes east for employment,” Councilman Ryan Mello said Tuesday.
Lopez said he also thinks it is important to attract businesses and new residents to Tacoma to help solve some of the city’s budget issues.
Along with Lopez’ appointment Tuesday, the Tacoma City Council approved Ibsen taking a leave of absence of up to one year.
Ibsen will leave to begin military training in January. He plans to return to his council seat after 11 months of training, though the length of his absence could be shorter.