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12 days after Brooks' resignation announcement, no applicants for her Town Council position

From left, Councilwoman Liz Illg takes notes and Councilwoman Carrie Brooks listens to advice from Town Attorney Don Eaton at a hearing on the Buck-Boreen annexation, March 2009. The Town of Friday Harbor is accepting applications for Brooks
From left, Councilwoman Liz Illg takes notes and Councilwoman Carrie Brooks listens to advice from Town Attorney Don Eaton at a hearing on the Buck-Boreen annexation, March 2009. The Town of Friday Harbor is accepting applications for Brooks' council position; she has resigned effective July 1.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen / March 2009

You get to help decide how local tax dollars are spent. You get to make decisions that affect the quality of public services. Convince a majority of your colleagues that your idea will improve things, and you can make an indelible mark on the quality of local life.

In exchange, you'll get your name forever etched into the town archives, and some nice pocket change to boot: about $4,080 a year.

A lot of people raise money and endure grueling election campaigns for a chance like this. All you have to do is step forward and say you want the job.

As of Tuesday morning, no takers.

Thursday is Friday Harbor Town Council member Carrie Brooks' last day in office. She resigned June 17 and Mayor Carrie Lacher immediately advertised for applicants. But 12 days later, Town Clerk Amy Taylor reports having received no letters of interest.

The deadline is July 9. If there are no candidates for appointment by then, the deadline will be extended, Taylor said. The appointee will serve out the remainder of Brooks' term, which ends Dec. 31, 2011.

Consider this: When the council member is appointed, four of five council members will have been appointees. Anna Maria de Freitas and Noel Monin were appointed and subsequently ran unopposed for election. Steve Hushebeck was appointed to complete Lacher's term after she became mayor.

Some council members take what they learn as they advance in government. County Councilman Howard Rosenfeld was a Town Council member until his election to county office. Kelley Balcomb-Bartok was appointed to Rosenfeld's position in 2006 and served one year five months before moving on to become a communications specialist in the Renton mayor's office. Felix Menjivar served as a town planning commissioner, was elected to the council in November, and is now running for county sheriff.

Council members say they enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the community.

"You can make a positive difference," said Hushebeck, a councilman since January. "There's policy and procedure to follow, but once you understand the process, it's not a big deal. I would encourage anyone to apply."

Hushebeck said he doesn't find the job too demanding. "Once in a while, a big initiative comes through like the Buck annexation, but the time is not a big deal. Council meetings take about six to eight hours a month. What's more time consuming is all the other committees." Hushebeck is a council representative to the San Juan County Economic Development Committee and the town Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

"It's been an educational process. For the first several months, I was learning what the issues are. Now, I'm starting to form some opinions about what I'd like to see accomplished."

As for calls at home: "I've only gotten one. But people don't know me yet. That will change over time."

To apply for appointment to the Town Council, send a letter of interest and resume to: Mayor Carrie Lacher, Town of Friday Harbor, P.O. Box 219, Friday Harbor 98250. Deliver to Town Hall, 60 Second St., Friday Harbor.

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