The Enumclaw City Council has come up one seat short after the November general election due to a residency requirement problem.
Morgan Irwin took 63 percent of the vote for council Position No. 1 over Pamela Harding, who withdrew from the race in August.
Irwin, who was raised in Enumclaw, moved back to the city in February. The residency requirement for City Council is one year according to state law. The Enumclaw Municipal Code does not state a residency requirement.
At the Nov. 24 City Council meeting Irwin said he was contacted by Mike Reynolds, the city attorney, concerning the residency requirement.
“The city attorney contacted me letting me know I did not fulfill one of the requirement,” Irwin said. “That requirement was one-year residency within the city limits.”
Irwin said he missed the residency by about 75 days.
“For me this is rather embarrassing,” Irwin said. “I thought I had fulfilled everything in the Enumclaw Municipal Code, which I had. But there was a state regulation on top of that.”
Irwin said he had to “recuse myself (from the council position). But as the appointment process moves forward I would like to submit myself as a candidate.”
Irwin said he is 30 years old with master’s degree in economics. He said he previously worked in banking and is now a police officer with the Seattle Police Department.
Reynolds said it is understandable how Irwin missed the residency requirement because it, “doesn’t appear in the Enumclaw Municipal Code.”
Reynolds said Irwin was very cooperative and “we appreciate it.”
According to Reynolds the position becomes vacant Jan. 1, 2014 and the council has 90 days to fill the seat. The attorney also noted the seat does not default to Harding, who came in second although she withdrew. Her withdrawal came too late to be removed from the ballot. She withdrew due a new job.
Mayor Liz Reynolds said the city is accepting applications for the vacant position.