Council postpones appointment vote

(Top row) Allen James “AJ” Gordon, Justin Camarata, Ron Stephens, Bradd Busick and Janey Mattson. (Bottom row) Sarah Rumbaugh, Ann Locsin, Russ Heaton and Dan Voelpel.

The nine finalists to temporarily serve on Tacoma City Council, while District 2 Councilmember Robert Thoms serves a six-month deployment in Afghanistan, will have to wait a bit longer to learn which one will be ultimately tapped to take a seat at the dais.

The council had selected the nine candidates from a pool of 26 people who applied to represent the district that covers North Tacoma, downtown and the Tideflats. Those candidates are: Sitecrafting CFO and Tacoma/Pierce County Chamber Executive Board Member Allen James “AJ” Gordon; startup manager and housing and transportation booster Justin Camarata; former Tacoma Fire Chief Ron Stephens; technology executive adjunct faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University Bradd Busick; psychotherapist Janey Mattson; nonprofit fundraiser/campaigner Sarah Rumbaugh; retired business executive and consultant Ann Locsin; business owner Russ Heaton; and Tacoma Schools Communications Director Dan Voelpel.

They each individually faced the City Council for brief introductions and fielded questions at the study session on Tuesday with the expectation that the council would then make the appointment at the regular session later that evening. That didn’t happen. The vote to appoint one of them to the temporary post was postponed until the next council meeting on March 20.

“We were blown away by the number of candidates and the quality of the candidates who spoke before us,” Mayor Victoria Woodards said. “We just want a little more time to deliberate and make the best choice for District Number 2.”

Thoms will still be in the country for the next council meeting and is expected to cast his appointment vote telephonically before he leaves for deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan as part of Operation Resolute Support. He is a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

The list of people who had also applied for appointment to the position but were not selected for finalist interviews were: John Cameron, Phil Cowan, Bruce Dougherty, Suzanne Dowell, Kory Edwards, Christopher Gruber, Jenny Jacobs, Angela Jossy, Jeff McInnis, Rob McNair-Huff, Tim Pavolka, Daniel Pike, Rebecca Stith, David Thomsen, Dorian Waller, Megan Warfield and Twylia Westling.

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