Serving on the City Council
A candidate for City Council must be a:
Neither a Councilmember nor his/her spouse or interdependent family members may be employed by the City, except when the Councilmember’s spouse was employed by the City before the election or appointment to the Council.
- Resident of Mercer Island for at least one year
- Registered voter in Mercer Island (to register to vote, you must be a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of Washington State and at least 18 years old by Election Day)
What are the primary election requirements?
Candidates who meet the legal qualifications above must file a Declaration of Candidacy with King County Elections within the filing period in May. There is no filing fee. The general election is in November but the Primary Election Day is in August. If no more than two people file for a position, there is no primary election for that position.
What are the November election procedures?
Councilmembers are elected by registered voters of the City. Newly elected Councilmembers take office at the first Council meeting of the next year (following certification of election results by the King County Elections Officer).
What is the purpose of Council position numbers?
Washington State election law require that if more than one position with the same name (Councilmember) and district number (Mercer Island) will be voted upon during an election, the positions to be filled shall be designated by number. This means that candidates must file for a specific position on the Mercer Island City Council. Positions 1, 3, 5, and 7 are on the ballot in the same year and positions 2, 4, and 6 are on the same ballot two years later.
How often does the City Council meet?
Regular Council meetings are held the first and third Monday (In September 2017 regular meetings will move to the first and third Tuesdays) of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers. Study Sessions held before regular meetings from 6:00-7:00pm and Special Meetings that are called as needed. The meeting schedule and start-times are subject to change. The Council also meets for annual Planning Sessions for goal setting and long-range planning. These are usually held over a weekend, usually starting on Friday and ending on Saturday.
What time commitment is required?
The duties of a Councilmember involve an average minimum commitment of 30-40 hours per month for preparation, participation and attendance at meetings (regular and special City Council meetings, Council subcommittee meetings, City board and commission meetings, community meetings and committee meetings for regional appointments). Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact a current Councilmember to ask what the experience is like and what is involved.
How long is a Councilmember’s term?
Councilmembers are elected to a term of four years.
How are vacancies filled when a Councilmember leaves prior to the end of his or her term?
In case of a vacancy, the remaining Councilmembers will appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next regularly scheduled election as outlined in RCW 42.12.070. The Council will publish a notice of the vacancy, the procedure by which the vacancy will be filled, and the application form on the City’s website and distribute the information through other media channels. Interviews of candidates will take place during a meeting open to the public.
How is the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elected? What are the roles of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor?
The Mayor is elected from among the Councilmembers for a two-year term. At the first Council meeting of the next calendar year, the City Clerk will entertain a motion for "nominations" for a Councilmember to serve as Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Approval is by majority vote of Council members present. The Mayor presides at all Council meetings, votes as a Councilmember and does not have any veto power. The Deputy Mayor serves in the Mayor’s absence.
Click here to download the packet from the Prospective Council Candidate Workshop
Mercer Island Offices Subject to Election in 2019
||Current Office Holder
|Council Position No. 1
|Council Position No. 3
|Council Position No. 5
|Council Position No. 7
|Prospective Council Candidate Workshop
||Early May 2019
||Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17, 2019
|Deadline to Withdraw
||Monday, May 20, 2019 at 4:30 pm
|Council Candidate Orientation
||Late May 2019
||Tuesday, August 6, 2019
||Tuesday, November 5. 2019
|First City Council Meeting
||Tuesday, January 7, 2020
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