In a surprise announcement, Enumclaw councilwoman Kimberly Lauk will be resigning from her seat, effective immediately.
Lauk planned to make the announcement during the April 22 council meeting, after print deadline, but provided The Courier-Herald with an advanced copy of her official resignation letter.
“Serving the city of Enumclaw and all who call this wonderful town home has been a tremendous honor. I will carry the knowledge I have gained and relationships I have built during my service here for the rest of my life,” she wrote, adding that she’s resigning “for personal reasons” and “with a heavy heart.”
“For that I will be forever grateful. I also want to thank all the people who encouraged me, believed in me and trusted me enough to grant me this opportunity to serve this city. I hope that by my service on the council, and even by resigning at this time so that you continue to have the representation that you deserve that I have maintained that trust.
“I would like to thank our current Mayor and Council members as well as past Mayor and Council members for our dialogue and collaborative efforts in making Enumclaw not only a better place for those that call it home today but for the future generations to come. I have learned something from each and every one of you. It’s been an honor to serve with you. Though I am leaving this evening, I look forward to seeing what you will accomplish during your time with the city. As you move forward, I ask only this: that you stay grounded and focused. Your city is growing rapidly, and your attention and commitment is needed more than ever. Plan not just for today and the tasks at hand but for the future of Enumclaw. Continue to preserve Enumclaw’s rich farmland land, precious natural resources, and majestic beauty so that our children’s children will look upon it as fondly as we do today.
“In closing, I would like to thank the men and women who come to work every day and make the city the effective and dedicated organization that it is. Over the past three years many of you have mentored me and encouraged me to grow in ways that I never expected. You are knowledgeable, passionate and community forward in your approach. Thank you for your guidance and patience. Enumclaw is a better place because of you.”
Lauk declined to comment on the circumstances behind her resignation, but added that she wants her children to “continue to learn and grow within the Enumclaw School District just as I did” and plans to stay in the area.
With her resignation in hand, the city – and, to be precise, remaining members of the City Council – must decide how to fill the vacancy.
A couple of things could come into play, according to City Administrator Chris Searcy.
First, the Council officially has 90 days to fill the vacancy. That timeline would give the Council well into the summer to make a decision.
More timely is the fact that Lauk was in the final year of her term (she was sworn into her seat January 2016) and the filing period for the fall election is the week of May 13-17. The Council could wait until filing is completed to see who is interested, Searcy said.
The appointee will fill out the remainder of Lauk’s term. The fall election season, with an August primary and November general election, will determine who fills the Enumclaw City Council post for the four-year term beginning in January 2020.