A seat has opened on Oak Harbor’s city council.
Bill Larsen resigned from his position as a council member on May 15. He purchased and moved to a new home that is not within city limits, so he had to step down after serving two and a half years of his four-year term.
“I looked for any possible way, even buying land within city limits, but apparently it’s tied to your home of residence and where you’re registered to vote,” Larsen said.
“Ironically, we’re closer to Windjammer Park and all things downtown.”
According to state law, the council position must be filled within 90 days of vacancy. City Administrator Blaine Oborn said that gives the city until Aug. 15 to fill the position.
Oborn said he will propose in the upcoming meeting that the council follow a similar process as it did in 2016, when the city had to fill another vacant position.
The 2016 process included a few weeks for applications to be submitted. Afterwards council members created a shortlist of qualified applicants, interviewed candidates during open sessions and discussed candidates in executive session before making the final selection in open session.
The process, however, will be determined by the council, Oborn said. He hopes they will choose the process at the next meeting.
In order to be eligible for the council position, an applicant must have lived within city limits for at least a year and be registered to vote in Oak Harbor.
Larsen said he will continue to look for ways in which he could serve the community as an Island County resident.
“I enjoyed working with the council, with the mayor, with the city employees,” he said. “I learned an awful lot about what makes our city great and felt really happy to be a part of it.”