Ridgefield City Council isn’t wasting any time finding a replacement for outgoing Councilor Don Stose. Deputy City Manager Lee Knottnerus outlined the process to replace Stose during the council’s Thursday meeting, starting with accepting applications.
“We are prepared to start marketing that and open the period for accepting applications (Friday) and leave that open for approximately a two-week period,” Knottnerus told the council.
After spending more than 12 years on the council, including four years as mayor, Stose announced Jan. 6 he would retire by the end of the month. State law requires the council appoint a councilor within 90 days of the vacancy. If the city council cannot reach agreement on a new councilor, the decision would be up to the Clark County Council.
Anyone Interested in applying for the council seat has until noon Feb. 25 to submit a completed application packet to City Clerk Julie Ferriss. Applications can be submitted online or mailed to Ridgefield City Hall, 230 Pioneer St., Ridgefield, WA 98642.
To be considered for the position, candidates must have continuously lived within Ridgefield city limits for at least one year prior to appointment to the council and be a registered voter in the city of Ridgefield.
The newly appointed councilor will be required to run for election in 2023. The winner of the 2023 election will be required to run again in 2025 for a full four-year term.
Once the application deadline has passed, the council will select up to five candidates to move forward in the selection process.
Knottnerus said the council will use set criteria to rank the applicants, such as “familiarity with the role of a city council member, including representing the interests of the entire community; their abilities and experience that would be helpful in their effectiveness as a city council member; and interest in the community and their understanding of issues the city council is facing.”
The public will get to meet the candidates and ask questions during a virtual town hall scheduled for March 16. Questions can be submitted prior to the meeting by emailing Ferriss at email@example.com or call 360-857-5006. Questions will be accepted through March 10 and possibly during the town hall meeting if time allows.
Council interviews with candidates will then take place March 24, which the public is invited to attend. Following the interviews, the council will vote on the winning candidate who will be appointed and sworn in during the regular council meeting that day.
Application packets can be picked up from Ridgefield City Hall. To request a paper application packet, call 360-887-3557, then select option 0. Submitted applications must include a letter of interest, resume and completed application, which includes a reference authorization form and questionnaire. Candidates may choose whether to include letters of reference.
Additional information about the process and how to apply can be found at ridgefieldwa.us/city-council-vacancy-february-2022.