Now that council president Tim Burgess has ruined everyone’s fun by shutting the public out of the process to appoint a new council member to replace Sally Clark (after discussing the matter in closed session Friday, Burgess and Co. are meeting by phone privately all weekend to narrow the list down to five by Monday), all that’s really left is to wait and see what amendments his colleagues offer, if any, to surface the names of favored candidates who didn’t make the top five. After that, each candidate gets his or her three minutes on Friday (the public, including unsuccessful applicants, will be relegated to one-minute public comments), and the council will make its choice over the next weekend, followed by a pro forma vote the following Monday.
Rather than speculate on who might make the cut, then (although, fine: The likely finalists include former council member Jan Drago, former interim human services director John Okamoto, former state ferries chief and mayor’s housing affordability committee member David Moseley, longtime community activist and two-time council appointment candidate Sharon Maeda, and Low Income Housing Institute director Sharon Lee, whose application letter swings at Okamoto), here’s a look at some of the candidates least likely to make the cut.
None of them are raving public-comment staples like Alex “you fucking Nazis” Tsimerman; hell, some of them (hi, Dick Falkenbury!) might be viable candidates for a district council seat. What unites most of them is a failure to (in some cases, even nominally) meet the main criteria for the appointment, as decided by the council: An ability to “hit the ground running” (which implies a working knowledge of how the city’s legislative branch works in relation to the other branches, familiarity with the issues that will be on the docket between now and November, and a resume that suggests they have some experience relevant to the job.)
While I admire the pluck it takes to apply for a position in public service, I also think opportunities like this one draw in people who know they aren’t qualified, and who may be in it for the exposure. Others may be utterly sincere, but not self-aware enough to know that an application for a job like city council member should at least look professional, and include some information about why the person wants the job and thinks he or she can handle it.
With that said, here are the eight candidates least likely to make the council’s cut:
• Dick Falkenbury. Actually, I think onetime monorail visionary Dick Falkenbury is probably qualified for the council; hell, I was about ready to die on that hill during his first run back in 2003—but this time around, Falkenbury’s phoning it in. His application consists of a one-line cover letter and a half-page, slapped-together resume that ends in 2002. All this “application” does is get Falkenbury’s name back in the news. And see? It’s working. Falkenbury Falkenbury Falkenbury.
• Self-described male model David Caseletto, whose current job title is “True Boss” at True Boss Promotions, which “focuses on monetizing the outsourcing of services for small businesses,” and manager at a bar on Beacon Hill. On his application, he notes that “it was always my dream to be a bartender,” but adds that “we all have to have hobbies, I like public policy.”
• Kyle Bowman, a sheet metal worker who didn’t submit a resumé but “graduated from Snohomish High School with a reasonably good gpa.”
• Timothy Janof, an electrical engineer who points out that although “I am not a policy wonk” and has no relevant experience, his principal in junior high was former council member Cheryl Chow, and he graduated from Garfield High. “Although born in Paris, France, I consider myself about as ‘Seattle’ as you can get,” Janof writes.
• Giovanni Rosellini (not, as far as I can tell, related to those Rosellinis), a legal assistant who lists among his qualifications the ability to “interview witnesses,” “photograph the crime scene,” and “testify in court to impeach a witness in pre-trial criminal defense investigation.” His qualifications are less specific: They include being a U.S. citizen and being registered to vote.
• Earl Sedlik, who actually seems reasonably qualified (his current positions include head of the Mount Baker Club, and he ran four council twice before, in the ’90s), but whom I’m including on this list because his application is one of the longest of the bunch, because his subject line is written like a press release (“Re: EARL SEDLIK APPLIES FOR THE OPEN CITY COUNCIL POSITION – CONTACT INFORMATION”), and because his cover letter includes decades-old commendations from two late former city council members, George Benson and Charlie Chong, and former council member Margaret Pageler… ‘s son.
• David Toledo, who is also running quite enthusiastically for the four-year District 5 council seat, putting his commitment to serving only as a short-term “caretaker” (one of the criteria the council has specified for the seat) very much in doubt.
• And finally, Karen Studders, if only because the experienced attorney’s four-page, single-spaced resumé is an example of what job coaches mean when they tell you less is more.