Today is a banner day for Kelley Balcomb-Bartok.
The Friday Harbor Town Council member, who has resigned to take a communications job with the City of Renton, did a radio interview this morning regarding the birth of a new orca; he’s currently on the staff of the Center for Whale Research.
At noon, he was presented with a proclamation by Mayor David Jones, recognizing his one year and five months on the council.
Jones declared today “Kelley Balcomb-Bartok Day” in Friday Harbor.
Tonight, Balcomb-Bartok will be able to have his cake and eat it too. At the council’s evening meeting, cake will served — ordered by Town Clerk Amy Taylor from Carlene’s Cakes, which is owned by the councilman’s wife. (Taylor said the cake won’t be paid for with town funds. “We’re all going to pitch in,” she said.)
“Just don’t name an orca after me. I’m not dead,” Balcomb-Bartok quipped.
Balcomb-Bartok is moving to Renton, where he will work as communication specialist in the Renton mayor’s office. He begins his new job June 16. The Town Council is expected to appoint someone to the vacancy Aug. 7; letters of interest will be accepted by the Town Clerk at Town Hall until June 27 and the council will interview applicants by July 17.
Council members are paid $85 per meeting with maximum of four meetings per month.
Councilwoman Carrie Brooks complimented Balcomb-Bartok on his service as council member and chairman of the town’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. She said he did a “remarkable job” organizing and building consensus on the LTAC, of which she is a member. (While his resignation is effective at 12:01 a.m. June 6, he will chair his final LTAC meeting.)
“You have turned out to be an awesome council member,” Brooks said.