Federal Way City Council looks to fill vacancy left by Erica Norton

State law dictates the council must appoint a candidate within 90 days of the vacancy.

During their June 6 meeting, the Federal Way City Council received a presentation regarding the process for appointing a council member to fill the vacancy left by Erica Norton’s abrupt resignation.

It was during the May 16 council meeting that Erica Norton announced her resignation from the council in the middle of the meeting, leaving Federal Way City Council Position No. 2 vacant.

“Bye everybody. I’m out of here,” Norton said as she walked out of the room.

According to the Revised Code of Washington, members of the council are responsible for “appointing a qualified person to fill a vacant council position within 90 days of the vacancy.”

The appointed person will serve the remainder of the term for the position, up until the certification of the 2025 election.

Applicants have until June 15 to apply for the position with the city clerk’s office before 5 p.m.

Minimum requirements for the position stipulate that applicants must have resided in the City of Federal Way for at least one year prior to their appointment to the city council and that they must be a registered voter in King County and Federal Way.

If there are more than six applicants, a council rule allows them to reduce the number of interview opportunities given to applicants, based on the submitted paper application materials.

The council will begin to interview candidates during a June 26 special meeting. The process will take place in public meetings, but the council members may take a private executive session to discuss candidate qualifications.

The mayor is given a tie-breaking vote if the council is split on making an appointment decision.

If the council does not appoint someone within 90 days of the vacancy, King County will be responsible for making the decision.

“Sometimes it is easier to get yourself elected than it is to get yourself appointed,” said Councilmember Linda Kochmar to potential applicants.