KALAMA — Kalama City Councilman Mike Truesdell resigned Thursday, citing constraints on work and family.
Truesdell been on the council for 10 years, first elected in 2009. He was most recently re-elected in 2017. During the council meeting Thursday evening, Truesdell thanked his fellow council members and the city staff.
“It’s been amazing,” Truesdell said.
Councilwoman Sandra Macias-Hughes said Truesdell recently got married and started a new job. She said she appreciated his efforts to continue on the council despite those “major changes.” Truesdell always followed up with Macias-Hughes or another councilmember if he missed a meeting, she said.
“Thank you for hanging in there with all of us new ones that came on and started really pushing,” Councilwoman Rosemary Siipola said. “Thank you for votes you made that were really tough. Congrats on your life changes and best wishes.”
Because Truesdell resigned after the day before this year’s filing period for elective began, his seat will not appear on the 2019 ballot.
According to state law, the council will appoint a qualified person to the vacant position. Coni McMaster, city clerk and treasurer, said the mayor and council will announce the opening, gather applications and set a time for interviews. The mayor will likely make the announcement at the council’s next meeting on June 6, she said.
After the interviews, which can be at a council meeting, the council and mayor can go into executive session to discuss the candidates but they can’t make a decision in the session. They will come back to the meeting to make the appointment through a motion and vote.
The appointed councilmember will serve the remainder of the position’s term, until 2021.
In other business, the council approved an addendum to the city’s contract with Gray & Osborne Consulting Engineers to increase the budget for general engineering and surveying services by $25,000, for a total of $75,000 for 2017 to 2019. City Administrator Adam Smee said the city exceeded the previously budgeted amount because of the large amount of development and subdivision review the city has seen in the past year.
The council also issued certificates of appreciation to the volunteer branding committee, which designed a new logo, flag, mission and vision statements for the city. Residents inside and outside city limits voted in an October survey on the logo and statements.
Branding committee members included Hillary Elliot, Matthew Merz, Joy Greenberg, Linda Dolph, April Hoffman, Daniel Polacek, Jennifer Steward, Erika Moon, Teryn Nelson, Liz Newman and McMaster. Councilwoman Macias-Hughes led the group.