Sammamish City Council member Tom Hornish announced during the April 3 meeting, that he has stepped down from his role as deputy mayor.
During the meeting he explained that he had received an offer for a new job that will require him to travel out of the city for three days a week. He said that his new responsibilities would prevent him from fulfilling the duties of the deputy mayor and added that he would be giving up his seats on several council and regional committees.
Hornish said that he plans to continue serving as a council member and that he will continue to live in Sammamish with his family.
Council member Karen Moran was voted in as the new deputy mayor in a four-to-three vote with support from council members Hornish, Chris Ross, Mayor Christie Malchow and Moran herself.
In a statement to the Reporter, Hornish voiced his support for his replacement.
“I am confident that the experience and leadership skills possessed by council member Karen Moran will make her a highly effective deputy mayor,” Hornish wrote. “I look forward to continuing to serve the Sammamish community.”
Moran wrote a statement to the Reporter as well, thanking Hornish for his work and for the support of the council on voting her into the deputy mayor position.
“I feel very honored to have been chosen by my colleagues on the City Council to serve as deputy mayor,” she wrote. “I would also like to personally thank council member Tom Hornish for his past service and leadership as deputy mayor. I look forward to continuing to work with council member Hornish, and my other colleagues on the City Council, to serve our fellow Sammamish community members.”
During the April 3 meeting, council members voiced concerns about the workload left to the rest of the group with Hornish stepping away from his committee duties. They also wondered whether Hornish would be able to keep up with the council work while also beginning his new job.
Through discussion with city attorney Michael Kenyon at the meeting, the council clarified that participation in committees was not a requirement of a council member. Kenyon also said that Hornish is not required to give up his seat on the council due to his new job and that the other members have no authority to remove Hornish from the council.
“I think (Hornish)’s role on this council has been invaluable and so I’m willing to step up and take on additional roles if needed to try and make it work,” Malchow said. “If it doesn’t work and then balance feels too out of whack, or if we are finding he’s not physically present for meetings, then we can come back and have another discussion about it.”
Hornish’s committee seats were given to other council members who volunteered to take on the additional workload. Moran volunteered to take his place on the Eastside Fire and Rescue board and finance subcommittee, while Ross volunteered to serve as her alternate. Moran also volunteered to serve on the King County EMS levy advisory task force. Council member Jason Ritchie took on the vacant seat on the city’s finance committee and Malchow took Hornish’s role on the board of A Regional Coalition for Housing.