AP NEWS

Sen. Lovelett resigns Anacortes council seat

February 28, 2019
Liz Lovelett is sworn in by state Supreme Court Justice Steven C. Gonzalez to represent the 40th Legislative District in the state Senate.

ANACORTES — Newly appointed state Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, resigned her seat Monday on the Anacortes City Council.

Lovelett said she doesn’t believe she could have managed the workload of both jobs.

“The reality is, I won’t really have time,” she said, calling the decision bittersweet.

Lovelett was appointed Feb. 5 to replace Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, as the senator representing the 40th Legislative District.

Ranker resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.

“It was an honor to serve at the council,” Lovelett said in a phone conversation with the council during its meeting Monday. “It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

In the three weeks she has been in Olympia, Lovelett said she’s continued to work on issues she was passionate about on the City Council, including affordable housing, environmental protection and advocating for small cities.

She said her transition to Olympia, which took place amid an ongoing legislative session, has been smooth thanks to her knowledgeable staff.

Despite having one week between her appointment and the cut-off for introducing new legislation, Lovelett sponsored seven bills.

Among them is a bill that would allow small cities to piggy-back off of the equipment orders of larger cities, lowering the cost for the smaller cities.

“(If) Anacortes needs one garbage truck, and Tacoma needs 12 garbage trucks, we can piggy-back of their order ... to get a better rate,” she said of her bill.

This legislation was inspired by a request from Anacortes Finance Director Steve Hoglund, she said. If passed, the bill will help small cities make better use of their resources.

“To me, it just seems like a powerful tool for smaller cities to get a better rate and wisely use taxpayer money,” Lovelett said.

Other bills she is sponsoring would require boaters to learn during the boat licensing process about safe viewing distances for endangered Southern Resident orca whales, and to deal with land management on Blanchard Mountain.

Mayor Laurie Gere said the city has issued the call for applicants to fill Lovelett’s seat.

Applicants have until noon March 20 to send a résumé and cover letter to the City of Anacortes, Mayor Laurie Gere, P.O Box 547, Anacortes, 98221.

On March 25, each candidate will make a presentation to the council, and a selection will be made April 1.

Anyone who has lived in Anacortes for one year and is registered to vote is eligible, Gere said.

The seat is up for election in November 2021.