Auburn City C0uncilman Chris Stearns holds a commanding lead over Shukri Olow at present in his election bid for State Representative District 47 Position 2,
And should the wide margin Stearns enjoys hold and he win, what then of his present position on the Auburn City Council?
Would he have to resign? No.
Can he keep it? Yes, he can.
“There is is nothing in our code or council rules of procedure that prohibits him from holding both seats.” Dana Hinman, Administrative Director for the City of Auburn, said Thursday afternoon.
But, should Stearns resign, obviously someone would have to fill the resulting vacancy for the remainder of his term, which in this case expires on Dec. 31, 2023.
The Auburn Reporter has been unable to contact Stearns for comment.
But here is what would follow.
Should the city need to fill the vacancy, Hinman said, it would first be bound by the parameters within state law respecting the filling of non-partisan vacancies. State Law does not require a specific process to follow, but leaves it up to the governing body to create for its individual circumstance.
“We are currently working through what our process will be in the case he does resign – we will have more details on that soon,” Hinman said.
Still, by law, the city council must appoint a qualified replacement within 90 days of the vacancy. If it fails to meet this deadline, it loses the authority to appoint a replacement, at which point the King County Council has an additional 90 days to do so.
If the county legislative authority does not make an appointment within 180 days of the vacancy, the governing body or the county legislative authority may petition the governor to make the appointment.
The appointed councilmember would hold that seat until the end of term, and may run for election at that time to remain in office, Hinman said.