Langley mayor could accidentally win council seat

Scott Chaplin said he will not accept the city council seat if he ends up winning the election.

In what may be a first-time occurrence in Island County, a candidate for Langley City Council is prepared to give up the role if he wins.

Scott Chaplin, who was appointed mayor of the city in June, said he will most likely not accept the city council seat if he ends up winning the most votes in the general election.

“I don’t want to wear two hats like that,” he said. “I don’t even know if that’s allowed.”

Chaplin filed for Position 5 on the council during the regular candidate filing week in May. Within days of Chaplin’s filing, Langley’s former mayor, Tim Callison, announced his resignation from his office with the city.

Chaplin applied to fill the mayor’s vacancy, and was appointed in a nearly unanimous vote by the city council.

Tony Gill also filed for the council seat during the regular filing period. Shortly after Chaplin was named mayor, Gail Fleming filed as a write-in candidate.

Yet Chaplin’s name will still appear on the ballot for the city council seat, which means he could still win the election.

“Don’t vote for me,” he said with a laugh.

Island County Elections Supervisor Michele Reagan explained that if Chaplin does win the election, he can choose to resign from the elected position. His resignation would be treated like any other vacancy, and it would be up to the city council to appoint a replacement city council member.

State law doesn’t allow anyone to hold more than one elected position at the same time.

Since the term for Position 5 starts Jan. 1, 2022, that is also when the vacancy begins. Peter Morton currently holds the seat but decided not to run again. Newly elected council members who start their terms in the new year would participate in appointing a council member to fill the slot.

Election Day is Nov. 2.