PORT TOWNSEND — Attorney David Faber, in the midst of his second term on the Port Townsend City Council, has been elected the new mayor by his peers.
The seven council members were unanimous Monday night in their choice of Faber, 38, who grew up in Port Townsend.
The new deputy mayor is Amy Smith Howard, 39, following a divided vote. After new council member Libby Wennstrom nominated Howard, council member Monica MickHager nominated herself for the post. Faber then counted the votes emailed to him and reported MickHager had received one vote and Howard six.
About the new role, “I’m cautiously optimistic,” Faber said Tuesday morning while walking to his Uptown law office.
He acknowledged he’s stepping into “very large shoes” succeeding Michelle Sandoval, who retired last month from the City Council after 20 years of service including three terms as mayor.
Faber admitted he feels some trepidation about navigating his professional, private and civic lives all at once.
“It’s about knowing my capacity,” he said.
Faber, after attending the Evergreen State College, Seattle University School of Law, and University of Washington School of Law, returned to his hometown in 2013; he was elected to the City Council in 2015 and re-elected in 2019.Howard, for her part, has two other jobs: full-time volunteer engagement manager at Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County and part-time human resources administrative assistant at the Food Co-op. Her resume also includes her work as executive director of the now-closed Boiler Room youth resource center in Port Townsend.
“I am incredibly honored to be entrusted with the [deputy mayoral] responsibility,” Howard said Tuesday.
“It’s overwhelming in a good way,” as she and Faber work on agenda items and scheduling for an entire year to come.
The mayor and deputy mayor typically serve two-year terms in Port Townsend’s council-manager form of government. The elected council members are the primary legislators while City Manager John Mauro oversees day-to-day municipal operations, drafts the budget, and implements the council’s policy and legislative initiatives.
The City Council’s next meeting is a workshop session set for 6:30 p.m. next Monday. Agendas and contact information for the members appear under the Government link at www.cityofpt.us.
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]