Councilman who did not run for re-election eyes vacant seat

Michael Merideth says he will remain in town for two more years, but not four

Michael Merideth

Michael Merideth

PORT ANGELES — Michael Merideth has decided he would like to remain on the Port Angeles City Council for two more years.

Merideth, who did not run for a second four-year term in the 2019 election, said he will apply for the seat vacated by the passing of Jim Moran.

Moran died in his sleep either late Nov. 15 or early 16 with two years left on his current term. He was 71.

“It’s horrible that it ended up that way, but the opening for the two years was there,” Merideth said in a Wednesday interview.

Merideth said he might move to unincorporated Clallam County in the next four years but would remain in the city for at least two years. City Council members must live within city limits.

“I don’t think it is appropriate to take a position for four years and not fulfill that, but I will be in the city for two years,” Merideth said.

Merideth announced that he would apply for the vacant position in a council work session Tuesday, drawing looks of surprise from his colleagues.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to direct staff to announce the vacancy and to ask interested and qualified citizens to submit an application and letter of intent to the city by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Application forms are available on the city website, www.cityofpa.us, or at the city clerk’s office at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.

The council is expected to discuss the vacant council seat process at its Tuesday meeting. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Merideth said he would recuse himself from discussions or votes on the appointment of a new council member.

“I have interest in this position and I will be applying for it,” Merideth said at the work session.

“If somebody wants to discuss process, I will be leaving.”

The person appointed to the City Council position will serve until the 2021 general election results are certified by the Clallam County Auditor.

He or she will join three new council members who were elected Nov. 5. Charlie McCaughan and Brendan Meyer will take office in early January, as will either Navarra Carr or Nina Napiontek. Carr now leads by three votes in the race for Position 6 against Napiontek but the close race triggered a manual recount which will be done next week.

Three current council members — Kate Dexter, Mike French and Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin — will begin their third years in office in January.

The council meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Extra meetings or work sessions may be called.

“Council members do not represent any particular district or area of the city and can expect to spend at least 20 to 25 hours per month on council related work,” according to the city announcement.

For information about the vacancy, call City Clerk Kari Martinez-Bailey at 360-417-4634.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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