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Sole candidate for Town Council appointment withdraws, but other candidates expected

To applause, Carrie Brooks displays the clock she received from the Town Council and staff in recognition of her 10.5 years of council service, July 1 at Town Hall. Brooks resigned for health reasons; her last day was July 1. To honor her, her name was placed on a list of potential street names and she rode in the town’s new fire truck, which she voted to fund. Applications are being accepted until July 9 from residents interested in appointment to Brooks
To applause, Carrie Brooks displays the clock she received from the Town Council and staff in recognition of her 10.5 years of council service, July 1 at Town Hall. Brooks resigned for health reasons; her last day was July 1. To honor her, her name was placed on a list of potential street names and she rode in the town’s new fire truck, which she voted to fund. Applications are being accepted until July 9 from residents interested in appointment to Brooks's position.
— image credit: Richard Walker

Local pilot Alan Dortch, at the beginning of the week the only candidate for appointment to Carrie Brooks' position on the Friday Harbor Town Council, has withdrawn his application because he may move out of the town limits, Town Clerk Amy Taylor said Tuesday.

That means there are no candidates. But Taylor expects that to change soon.

"I heard there may be two candidates," Taylor said. "One called and asked for information, the other is a previous candidate. We'll get a few. It's only Tuesday and we've got until Friday. And if no one applies, I'm sure we'll extend the deadline."

Brooks, a member of the Town Council for 10.5 years, resigned effective July 1 for health reasons. Her term ends Dec. 31, 2011. Council members meet the first and third Thursday of each month, at noon and 5:30 p.m. Council members receive $85 a meeting, for up to four meetings a month. That comes out to $4,080 a year.

Council members decide how local tax dollars are spent and 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.

When Brooks's successor 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 with them 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 Council 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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