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City revises application process for boards and commissions

Following the accidental appointment of legal-trouble-laden chiropractor Dr. Greg Summers in June, the Federal Way City Council asked city staff to review the application process for the various citizen advisory boards and commissions.

Part of the review discovered that one board, the Ethics Board, didn't actually require a member to be a citizen of Federal Way. This prompted a number of recommendations on how to change the process.

City Attorney Pat Richardson said the needed changes have been made to the process, should help land the city stronger applicants.

The changes on the ethics board would include qualifications to be a member of the Ethics Board, Richardson shared at the city council's Sept. 17 meeting.

"You must reside within the city, and they would prefer experience or background in ethics," Richardson said. "Additionally, it would have the removal process that is available as the council determines, which is consistent with the other boards and commissions."

Richardson said that as it was currently written, there was no removal power for the council to take someone off of the Ethics Board.

"In all the other boards and commissions, the council has the authority to remove a commissioner or a board member if (the council) feels that they are not fulfilling their obligations, (such as) attending meetings," Richardson said. "The ethics board has no provision for council removal."

Richardson said a change was also made to the Diversity Commission, with the requirement that applicants for that board must be a resident of the city, rather than merely living within the boundaries of Federal Way Public Schools.

Richardson noted that other recommendations included removing from the application the address, employer and hobbies/interests of the applicants.

A few more changes have been made to the process, according to Richardson.

"We have also added a notice that the documentation submitted is subject to public disclosure," she said. "The application would also have written questions, and ask the applicant to submit the answers in writing."

Those questions include:

• Why do you want to serve on the board/commission?

• What are your prior experiences in this area?

• How do you see your role as a board member/commissioner?

• Is there anything in your past or recent activities that could be perceived as an embarrassment?

The council approved the changes to the appellation process unanimously.

The aforementioned Summers was appointed to the North Lake Management District by the council in June, before it was brought to the council's attention that Summers is facing felony charges stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct at his former chiropractic practice. North Lake residents also chimed in after the appointment, saying Summers has acted as a poor steward of the lake in his time as a resident.

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