By Steve Guntli
Blaine City Council member Clark Cotner has resigned his position on the council, effective immediately.
Cotner made the announcement at the regular council meeting on January 12.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of my district, as well as the citizens and businesses of the city of Blaine as a whole,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
Cotner is moving to Georgetown, Texas, where he will pursue a new business venture and spend more time with his children and grandchildren.
“I’ve really liked it, but I’ve been here in Blaine for about 20 years and it’s time for a change,” he said. “I’ve been making four to five trips to Texas to visit my family every year, and when I went back this Christmas, I found a house.”
Cotner replaced Jason Overstreet on the council in 2009, when Overstreet left to pursue a seat in the state legislature. Voters elected Cotner to a full term in 2011.
He said he is especially proud of his achievements on the economic development committee.
“That committee was around for years, but nothing ever came of it because no one would show up,” he said. “I started it back up and now we have between 10 and 12 full-time members and we’re putting together a lot of really exciting things.”
Cotner said the committee has been in early talks with PeaceHealth to open a medical center in Blaine. He said he hopes whoever the council chooses as his successor will continue the committee’s work.
“I hate to leave it, but it’s just time to go,” he said.
City manager Dave Wilbrecht outlined the process for finding Cotner’s replacement. According to state law, the city council must appoint a successor no later than April 10. If the council fails to do so, Whatcom County Council takes on the responsibility of finding a suitable candidate.
A qualified councilmember must be a Washington citizen, must have lived in Blaine for at least one year and live in Ward 3. Ward 3 stretches from 6th to H streets in Blaine, and also includes Semiahmoo.
Wilbrecht suggested advertising for candidates and accepting applications until Friday, February 20. The council plans to interview candidates on Tuesday, March 3 and announce its decision no later than the March 9 council meeting.