Northwest Asian Weekly
The City Council has found a replacement for Sally Clark’s recently vacated position on City Council. John Okamoto was voted in April 27. He was supported by Sally Bagshaw, Tom Rasmussen, Bruce Harrell, Jean Godden, and Tim Burgess. The other API candidates vying for the position included Sharon Maeda and Sharon Lee. Sharon Maeda and Sharon Lee received votes in the seond and third round from councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Mike O’Brien and Nick Licata.
Clark’s last day was April 13; she left to serve in her new position as director of regional and community relations at the University of Washington.
The candidate requirement for this unusual situation is that the position be filled within 20 days of the elected council member’s vacancy. And it is also stipulated that the candidate can not apply for re-election in the next term.
Over 40 applicants applied for the seven-month interim position.
An interim director of the City’s Human Resources Department, Okamoto said he is interested to be the “caretaker” the job requires.
He told the Northwest Asian Weekly he has the experience of working withiin three different departments of the city, including being director of Human Resources, Human Services, and Engineering with 10 years total working for the city at different stages of his career, serving Mayor Ed Murray and Norm Rice. He understands finance, transportation, energy, growth management, public works, economic development, trade and many of the issues the city is dealing with.
Okamoto was also the chief administrative officer of the Port and also the Assistant Secretary for the State Department of Transportation.
Okamoto told the Weekly “I am honored to be selected. I was grateful for the final vote.” (end)
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