Milton Mayor Katrina Asay said she plans to submit her resignation to the City Council today as she moves to the Legislature to take the seat of Rep. Skip Priest, who is Federal Way’s first elected mayor.
The Milton City Council could elect a new mayor Jan. 3 from its own ranks to fill the vacancy, Asay said. Her resignation would take effect Dec. 31.
Asay won election to House Position 2 in the 30th Legislative District, the Federal Way-area seat left open by Priest’s successful bid for Federal Way mayor.
Priest resigned from the Legislature effective Wednesday and Asay was sworn in as his successor Friday. Both are Republicans.
Asay said the council in the city of roughly 6,500 people has advised it will pick a new mayor from within its seven members and not open up the process to those outside the council.
Asay said she agrees with that recommendation because the current council members are best qualified to be mayor and provide consistency.
“There’s no one out there that knows what’s going on better than the people on the council right now,” she said.
Asay said the direction from the council was nearly unanimous at a meeting Nov. 8 and that she’ll present a resolution for the council to approve the selection process today.
Milton City Council member Leonard Sanderson said he feels the council’s direction on the mayoral seat is “still an open issue.” Sanderson said he favors opening it up to Milton residents not on the council.
“We may find somebody that’s a talented administrator that’s willing to put some time in,” Sanderson said. “Until we ask, we’ll never find out.”
Either way, the Milton City Council will appoint a new mayor to serve until the municipal general election next November. The winner in that election will serve out the remainder of Asay’s term, which ends in January 2014.
Asay, 53, has been Milton’s mayor since March 2003. She was a Milton City Council member from 1995-2003.
The job as part-time Milton mayor pays $1,500 a month.
Asay defeated Carol Gregory, a Democrat, by 301 votes out of 37,959 votes in the Nov. 2 election.
Priest, 60, defeated Federal Way City Council member Jim Ferrell by four percentage points. Priest was sworn in as Federal Way’s first elected mayor Nov. 24. As Federal Way’s full-time mayor, Priest earns an annual salary of $112,800.