Buckley City Council Member James Morem retired last month to move his family to Nebraska, and the seat will soon be open to residents who wish to apply.
Morem announced his retirement during the March 23 city council meeting. That was his last meeting and last day on council, a year to the month after he took his seat.
“Over this last year I’ve had the tremendous privilege of working with an outstanding group of individuals who love this community and always try to do what’s best for this city,” Morem said at the close of his final council meeting. “I’m confident for the bright future this city has with the groundwork that’s been laid.”
Morem said that due to COVID-19, his employer has recently offered a fully remote work option that would allow him to move with his family back to the Nebraska town in which he grew up. He accepted the offer, and that move is tentatively scheduled for April, Morem said.
“Although excited, I will greatly miss each of you,” he said. “All three of my children have grown up in Buckley, and so it will always have a special place in my heart.”
Once the council declares a vacancy on the council – which City Administrator Paul Weed said is due to happen during their next meeting on April 13 – the city has 90 days to seek a replacement for the seat.
Buckley residents interested in the position can’t apply yet, but according to a draft of the resolution the council will consider, they should be prepared for these three questions at least during their council interview:
1. Why do you want to serve on the City Council?
2. Are there any regional issues or forums in which you have a particular interest or expertise?
3. Do you want to serve on the City Council because of a particular local issue on which you want to work or are your interests more broadly distributed?
Whoever is selected, they’ll have to defend their position almost immediately as Morem’s seat on the council is up for election this fall anyway. His won’t be the only position on the ballot: The seats of Council Members Smith, Bender, Wilbanks, and Mayor Pat Johnson will also be determined by voters.