Four Burien-area politicians have thrown their hats into the ring to replace King County Councilmember Dow Constantine’s vacant seat, including: Burien’s first Mayor Arun Jhaveri; current City Councilmember Lucy Krakowiak; Kathleen Quong-Vermeire, Commissioner, Highline Water District and former Mayor of Normandy Park, and Shawn McEvoy, current Mayor of Normandy Park.

Constantine was sworn in as King County Executive on Tuesday, Nov. 24th, which means there is now a vacancy in Council District 8. The King County Council received a total of 11 applications from individuals who are seeking to replace his vacant seat on the County Council.

The replacement appointee will serve in office until certification of the next general election in Nov. 2010.

Of the four local candidates, two (Jhaveri and Quong-Vermeire) have stated that they would not seek re-election, while the remaining two (Krakowiak and McEvoy) have stated that they would.

The finalists will be determined by a 12-person panel that includes Burien Mayor Joan McGilton and Normandy Park Councilmember Doug Osterman, who were appointed on Nov. 16th.

So with any luck and perhaps a touch of local favoritism, we just might see one of our neighbors on the King County Council, at least for about a year.

The selection process for making the appointment will begin Monday, Dec. 3rd, when the 12-member advisory committee created by the Council will conduct interviews with the 11 who submitted their applications by the Nov. 23rd deadline, listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Jan Drago: member of the Seattle City Council who is leaving the Council this year
  • Helen Howell: ormer Director of the state Department of Financial Institutions, served as Deputy Chief of Staff under Governor Locke
  • Zack Hudgins: State Representative from the 11th District and Tukwila resident
  • Jake Jacobovitch:Engineer in the Road Services Division of the King County Department of Transportation
  • Arun Jhaveri: Former Regional Technology Manager with the Federal Energy Management Program and former Mayor of Burien
  • Lucy Krakowiak: Buirien City Council Member and a member of the King County Library Board of Trustees
  • Joe McDermott: State Senator from the 34th District
  • Shawn McEvoy: Mayor of Normandy Park
  • Sharon Nelson: State Representative from the 34th District,
  • Vlad Oustimovitch: A partner at VoKa Incorporated, and a former Development Program Manager for the Seattle Housing Authority
  • Kathleen Quong-Vermeire: Commissioner, Highline Water District, former Mayor of Normandy Park

The advisory committee will interview all of the applicants and send to the County Council for its consideration three to six candidates who meet the qualifications.

The committee will then use the following criteria to evaluate candidates, including:

  • Knowledge of the functions of King County government;
  • Knowledge of the issues and challenges facing King County government;
  • Knowledge of the issues affecting the constituents of Council District 8;
  • A demonstrated ability to develop a responsible budget;
  • A demonstrated ability to respond to public concerns; and
  • Demonstrated leadership skills.

Council Chair Bob Ferguson and Councilmember Reagan Dunn, chair of the Committee of the Whole, said the Council is ready to act quickly on filling the vacancy

“The Council is acting quickly to ensure representation for the nearly 200,000 residents of District 8,” aid Ferguson. “Timely appointment will also allow the new councilmember to transition into the position, hire staff and hit the ground running in the new year.

“The process is in place to quickly review the applications we’ve received,” said Dunn. “With input from the advisory committee, I expect the Council to make the appointment before the end of the year.”

The panel’s recommendations will include at least one candidate who intends to run for election as Councilmember in 2010, and one who does not. Drago, Howell, Jhaveri, Nelson and Quong-Vermeire have stated they will not run for election. Jacobovitch, Krakowiak, McDermott, McEvoy and Oustimovitch said they would run for the position. Hudgins has not made a final decision.

The King County Council has final authority for making the appointment. The interview of the finalists will be done in the Council’s Committee of the Whole. Dunn said the Committee will interview the finalists on Monday, Dec. 7th.

The Council is expected to take action by Monday, Dec. 14th, the last Council meeting of 2009.

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