Sumner City Council is taking applications for a new council member after a member resigned earlier this month.
The city announced in February that councilmember Mike LeMaster stepped down due to time constraints with work.
“Unfortunately, the travel demands of work mean that I no longer have the time to perform the duties of a city council member effectively. I hope you understand,” LeMaster said in a city email on Feb. 14. “Serving on the Sumner City Council for the last six years has been an honor and a privilege. I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people and to serve the city of Sumner. Thank you for your cooperation and patience with me at this time.”
Serving on the Sumner City Council for the last six years has been an honor and a privilege. I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people and to serve the city of Sumner. Thank you for your cooperation and patience with me at this time.
Mike LeMaster, former Sumner Council member
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LeMaster was elected to City Council in 2016 to serve a four-year term.
“He was a great partner in this job and I’m sorry to see him go,” Sumner councilmember Cindi Hochstatter said at a recent meeting. “But I am looking forward to the interviews and I think it’s nice that a lot of good people have applied.”
Sumner Mayor Bill Pugh also felt the loss of LeMaster at the Feb. 20 council meeting.
“There was an empty space, there was a hole. The best way I can describe it is a sense of loss,” Pugh said. “You had a really good person who was really dedicated to representing his constituents and representing the city.”
“It was sort of sad but I certainly understood...I was respectful of his decision because I knew he really didn’t want to do it,” Pugh added.
According to state law, in the event of a vacancy due to resignation, the “remaining members of the governing body shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacant position.” The person elected to the position will hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The council is also required to fill the position within 90 days, or the responsibility falls to Pierce County Council.
An application is available online for those interested in applying for the open council position. Applicants must have lived in Sumner for one year and be a registered voter. Along with the application, applicants are asked to attach resumes and answer supplemental questions. The questions inquire about the applicant’s vision for Sumner, priority issues to focus on, strengths and community involvement experience.
“We’ve heard a lot of interest from many individuals, which is great,” Sumner Communications Director Carmen Palmer said. “It requires a lot of hard work, so even the decision to apply is not one to be taken lightly.”
Applications are due to City Clerk at Sumner City Hall by 5 p.m. on March 5.
In accordance with state law, a new candidate will be appointed with a majority vote by Sumner City Council.
The public is welcome to attend candidate interviews at 6 p.m. March 12 at City Hall. A tentative date of March 19 is set for swearing-in of the new candidate. A majority vote of the council will determine who will be appointed to the position. In case of a tie, the mayor makes final decision.
“I’m sorry that Mike LeMaster has decided not to serve any longer and I was enjoying working with him,” Councilmember Barbara Bitetto said at the Feb. 20 meeting. “(I) just hope we’ll have some good candidates to choose from to fill his seats.”
“I’m looking forward to the process,” Pugh added.
Sumner City Council vacancy
To apply: sumnerwa.gov/vacancy-recruitment
- have lived in Sumner for one year;
- be a registered voter;
- attach a resume and;
- answer supplemental questions.
Applications are due: 5 p.m. March 5.