By Evan Smith
The Edmonds City Council has delayed a decision on filling the Council vacancy created when former Councilman Frank Yamamoto resigned at the end of December due to illness.
At its Tuesday, Feb. 25 meeting, the Council decided to delay a decision on the new appointment to March 11.
Both the Feb. 11 and Feb. 18 Council meetings ended with 3-3 ties between former Councilman Steve Bernheim and former federal prosecutor Stephen Schroeder.
Through the 27 ballots at the first meeting and 19 at the second, three council members — Joan Bloom, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Lora Petso — supported Bernheim, while the other three — Buckshnis, Kristiiana Johnson and Strom Peterson — supported various candidates before settling on Schroeder.
At the most recent meeting, the Bernheim supporters said the only way to break the deadlock was for Council members to take time to talk individually to possible compromise candidates. Other members agreed.
Rather than move the meeting one week, the Council delayed the decision two weeks because Peterson will be gone next week.
If no candidate gets the votes of four city council members by March 31, the five-member Snohomish County Council would have 90 days to make the appointment.
State law for filling vacancies on nonpartisan elected councils, boards and commissions gives the remaining members of the body 90 days to fill the vacancy. If the remaining members don’t give one applicant a majority within 90 days, the appointment power goes to the county legislative body. The county council would then have 90 additional days to make the appointment.
If neither the city council nor the county council can reach a majority decision, either body can petition the governor to make the appointment. That’s unlikely to be necessary with the Snohomish County Council having a full five members. The appointed council member will serve through the 2015 election.