Citing a busy work schedule, aside from personal reasons, Buckley City Councilman Mark McNally turned in his letter of resignation Aug. 1, leaving the council without its Position 7 chair for economic and community development.
McNally’s decision was revealed at the regularly scheduled city council meeting Aug. 8, whereupon the remaining half-dozen council members immediately voted unanimously to suspend RCW 42.12.070, which had been established previously in the event of a council person vacating a position.
This RCW procedure, which was adopted by resolution and can likewise be waived by a majority vote, simply required the city council to fill the vacancy within 90 days. The sole remedy for failing to fill the vacancy though, is that it then becomes incumbent upon the Pierce County Council to fill the void.
The flies in the ointment was the timing involved with McNally’s departure and the fact that there are a tandem of candidates – Marvin Sundstrom and Bryan Howard – vying to occupy the vacated Position 7 in November’s general election.
Had McNally opted to resign just eight days later, both of these points would have been moot, in that the 90-day deadline for replacement would have fallen after the Nov. 8 general election had already been validated. Additionally, if there would have been just one person throwing his hat into the ring to run unopposed, the council could have requested that the single interested party might step in a bit early to learn the ropes, before being officially sworn in after the election.
“It came as a shock that he resigned so abruptly,” Buckley Mayor Pat Johnson said. “Mark will be missed, because he brought a certain element to the table.” She added that McNally always wanted to delve into both sides of any decision or issue that had to be voted upon.
“That was a good thing, though, and I commend him for having that quality and the work ethic to always pursue all of the facts prior to making a choice,” Johnson said. “He explained in his letter of resignation that he could no longer devote the amount of time that he felt was necessary to investigate all of the issues and concerns brought before the council.”
In other action during the Aug. 8 meeting, the council presented Jennifer Bacon with a plaque, honoring her five years of service as recreation services director, before she departs for Las Vegas later on this month.
In a related issue, Mayor Johnson divulged that Bacon’s replacement would be Ellen Boyd, who for the past few years has overseen proceedings at the Buckley Youth Activity Center.
The council voted favorably on a proposal which would allow Bacon to accept a small stipend for acting as a recreation services consultant for Boyd until she becomes adjusted to the multitude of diverse and demanding tasks associated with the position.
Being installed as Boyd’s replacement is White River High School and Gonzaga University graduate Will Foster, who was working as Boyd’s assistant.