Yelm Mayor JW Foster shows off the distinctive furnishings in the council chambers of Yelm City Hall in this March file photo.

The Yelm City Council is seeking a qualified applicant to fill a vacant seat on the council.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22, with public interviews being held Tuesday, May 26.

This seat was recently vacated by former council member Cody Colt, who is now the director of the city’s public works department.

Qualified candidates must be age 18 or older, a registered voter and must have held residency within the city’s limits for at least one year.

The interim council member will serve out the rest of Colt’s term through November 2021. Following the certification of the November 2021 election by the Thurston County auditor, the elected candidate will immediately take office, Yelm Mayor JW Foster said.

“People join or want to get on the council for a variety of reasons, but the overarching reason is to serve their community in some sort of way,” Foster said. “I would encourage people to take a hard look at what a council member does, and why an individual would want to take on this responsibility. There’s a lot of work that goes into serving on the counci l… People really need to understand that there’s a big time commitment and a larger learning curve.”

Each council member is expected to serve on a minimum of two subcommittees, as well as attend regular business and study sessions. Those who serve on the Yelm City Council are compensated $800 a month for their service.

At a study session on Tuesday, May 5, many of the councilmembers stressed the need for transparency during the hiring process.

Despite having 90 days to fill the vacancy, the Yelm council is adamant about getting the position filled in a timely manner, especially with the start of the city’s biennium budget process around the corner.

Council currently plans on reviewing applications and the candidates during a regular business session on Tuesday, May 26.

After reviewing the applications and narrowing the field down to a single candidate, the council will then take the candidate’s appointment to a simple-majority vote.

Foster said once the interim council member is appointed by council, that person could begin representing constituents in the office that day after taking the oath of office.

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