The hole in our government where Tim Burgess used to be. Photo by Joseph Peha, courtesy of Seattle City Council

Sixteen Apply to Fill Burgess’ Council Seat, Including Nick Licata

The Council plans to vote on Friday.

Sixteen people have applied to fill Tim Burgess’ seat on Seattle City Council.

The most notable name on the list of applicants in Nick Licata, who served on Council from 1998 through 2015. Other applicants include Abel Pacheco, who unsuccessfully ran for the Council’s District 4 seat in 2015, former mayoral candidate and public comment troll Alex Tsimerman, and Tsimerman-ally and fellow former mayoral candidate Tiniell Cato. At first glance, Licata looks to be the obvious frontrunner. Tsimerman is currently banned from City Hall for refusing to shut up at City Council meetings. According to City Clerk Monica Martinez Simmons, Tsimerman is still eligible to apply for the interim position, and as an applicant can be escorted by staff to and from public meetings on the appointment.

On Monday, the City Clerk delivered the applications to Council. Tuesday night there will be a forum at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in the Bertha Knight Landes room where constituents can ask questions to applicants. A meeting for comment by applicants and then the public will be held Wednesday night at 5 p.m. in Council chambers. The Council anticipates voting on whom to select at a special full Council meeting on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Councilmembers initially wanted to eschew public process and pick an interim member as quickly as possible, since the legislative body is currently amid its annual budget process, arguably the most important work it does all year. However, activists under the handle Transparent Seattle successfully lobbied leaders to open the process up to public observation and comment.

Once the council committed to the open process, a lot of names got thrown about as possible candidates, including former mayoral candidates Nikkita Oliver and Jessyn Farrell; former councilmembers Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen; and Gender Justice League executive director Danni Askini—who has been speaking up for survivors of sexual assault since allegations of abuse first surfaced against Mayor Ed Murray. Before the filing deadline Sunday evening, though, each had announced they would not be applying for the short-term position.

Licata told us previously that he feels he’d be a good fit to join the council amid the complex work of budgeting.

“I’d see my role basically to make sure the Council can get the job done as quickly as possible,” he said, referring to the budget, “particularly in this time of unexpected, rapid changes.”

On Monday, Councilmember Lisa Herbold asked the Clerk to tell applicants that “It’s the council’s expectation that they attend” the Tuesday forum and make themselves available to the public.

The context for this crisis is, of course, the sudden resignation of Murray following allegations that he sexually abused minors decades ago. That triggered a game of musical chairs at City Hall. The interim councilmember will serve until the November general election results are certified on November 28, when they’ll be replaced by either Jon Grant or Teresa Mosqueda.

cjaywork@seattleweekly.com

More in News & Comment

A woman works on a drawing next to an unused viewing scope as a smoky haze obscures the Space Needle and downtown Seattle last August as smoke from wildfires moved across the region. (Photo courtesy of The Herald/Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
Why Do Washington Voters Struggle With Climate Change Policies?

Despite environmental awareness and the public’s apparent desire for reform, statewide initiatives keep failing

Mary Lynn Pannen, founder and CEO of Sound Options, has consulted thousands of Washington families on geriatric care for 30 years. Photo courtesy of Sound Options
Seattle Takes on Elder Abuse as Reported Cases Rise

Local agencies and geriatric care managers aim to increase public awareness about the epidemic.

The Ride2 transit app will offer on-demand rides to and from West Seattle starting on Dec. 17. Courtesy of King County Metro
Climate Action Coalition Urges City to Respond to Seattle Squeeze

MASS asks the city to prioritize reducing traffic and increasing pedestrian safety ahead of the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s closure.

State Supreme Court Strikes Down I-27; King County Will Pursue Safe Consumption Sites

The decision upholds a court ruling keeping the anti-consumption site initiative off the ballot.

Seattle’s Hockey Team And Stadium Are On Their Way

Key Arena renovations will be completed without the use of public funding

Andrea Bernard, Allycea Weil, and Phoenix Johnson (left to right) are Licton Springs K-8 parents who want their kids to stay in the Native-centered program. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Licton Springs K-8 Parents Dismayed by Potential School Move

The PTO says children have benefited from the Native-centered program, and that transferring the pupils would disrupt their progress.

Seattle Municipal Court’s warrant outreach event on Nov. 30, 2017. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Seattle Takes Steps to Quash Warrants

City Attorney attempts to address inequities in criminal justice system and enhance public safety.

The King County Courthouse. File photo
King County Council Acknowledges Report on Juvenile Solitary Confinement

Report also says youth of color face a disproportionate amount of disciplinary measures

Federal Way Megachurch Slapped With Another Sexual Exploitation Lawsuit

Lawsuit calls for removal of Casey and Wendy Treat, and CFO, from church leadership roles.

The Centralia Power Plant is a coal-burning plant owned by TransAlta which supplies 380 megawatts to Puget Sound Energy. It is located in Lewis County and slated to shut down by 2025. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo
National Report Outlines Climate Change’s Course For Northwest

More fires, floods and drought appear to be on their way for Washington state.

Mustafa Getahun and other Washington Federation of State Employees laundry workers picket University of Washington Medicine at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery on May 17, 2018. Photo courtesy of the Washington Federation of State Employees
University of Washington Laundry Workers Feel Hung Out to Dry

The Rainier Valley facility’s imminent closure leaves over 100 people looking for new jobs.