Section 10:
Leaving Office

10.1 Return of Materials and Equipment

During their service on the City Council, members may have acquired or been provided with equipment such as computers or other items entailing a significant expense, as well as keys, etc. These items are to be returned to the City at the conclusion of a member’s term.

10.2 Filling Council Vacancies

10.2.a Purpose

The purpose of this section is to provide guidance to the City Council when an Olympia Councilmember position becomes vacant before the expiration of the official’s elected term of office. Pursuant to state law, a vacancy shall be filled by appointment only until the next regular municipal election is certified.

According to OMC 02.04.040 (Vacancies-Filling), “in the event of the extended excused absence or disability of a Councilmember, the remaining members by majority vote may appoint a Councilmember pro tempore to serve his or her absence or disability. In the event of an absence resulting from death, resignation or removal of a Councilmember from office, the remaining members by majority vote shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the person elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term takes office. If thirty days pass after the occurrence of the vacancy and Council is unable to agree upon a person to be appointed to fill a vacancy in the Council, the mayor may make the appointment from among the persons nominated by members of the Council. If the vacant position is the mayor’s position, the mayor pro tem shall make the appointment from among those persons nominated by the Council, within thirty days after the occurrence of the vacancy if the Council is unable to agree.”

10.2.b References

RCW 42.30.110(h) - Executive Session Allowed to Consider Qualifications of a Candidate for Appointment to Elective office.

RCW 42.30.060 - Prohibition on Secret Ballots.

RCW 42.12 - Vacant Position.

RCW 35A.13.020 - Vacancies - Filling of Vacancies in Council/Manager Form of Government.

10.2.c Appointment Process

A Council position shall be officially declared vacant upon the occurrence of any of the causes of vacancy set forth in RCW 42.12.010, including resignation, recall, forfeiture, written intent to resign, or death of a Councilmember. The Councilmember who is vacating his or her position cannot participate in the appointment process.

The City Council shall request that the City Manager prepare a recruitment and interview process proposal and scope of work to present to the City Council for discussion and concurrence within a timeline agreed to by a majority of the Council. It has been the past practice of the Olympia City Council to conduct an open call of applications within a specified application timeline, to post all applications on the City’s website after the close of the application timeline, and to interview all candidates who submit an application that meets the minimum requirements of State law.

If the City Council does not appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy within 90 days of the declared vacancy, RCW 42.12.070 delegates appointment powers to Thurston County.