Against The Clock, Palouse City Council Appoints New Mayor

The Palouse City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday night in favor of appointing Councilor and Mayor Pro Tempore Tim Sievers as the next mayor of Palouse.

 

Sievers, just the third Palouse mayor in 20 years, will fill the seat for the remaining 26 months of the four-year term.

 

The appointment comes after former Mayor Chris Cook and Palouse City Administrator Brad Coughenour abruptly resigned from their positions in September.

 

With no mayor to hire a city administrator, city business was at a standstill. The council was faced with appointing a new mayor from within, or beginning a public application process before a new city administrator could be hired.

 

Most members of the council agreed an application process would be time consuming and likely delay a looming preliminary city budget due next month.

 

“We are in critical need of a city administrator to pass that budget,” councilor Mary Welcome said. “To pass that budget we have to have preliminary budget meetings. I think we have to act with as much responsible haste as we can, so we can finish the duties we have to perform by the end of the year.”

 

Other council members shared the same sentiment.

 

“Time is of the essence,” said councilor Bill Slinkard. “We need a city administrator before we can do pretty much anything and members of the council are some of the most knowledgeable and desirable candidates for the mayor position.” Slinkard made the motion to appoint Sievers.

 

The lone nay vote came from councilor Katie Cooper, who recognized the budget timeline, but voted no for the sake of public transparency, which was thoroughly discussed by the council.

 

Sievers’ appointment will allow the city to move forward with interviews and hopefully the hiring of a city administrator in the coming weeks. Sievers noted the city already received two competitive resumes for the position.

 

Sievers, who said he was planning on running for re-election of his council seat, was nearing the end of his first four-year term. He has lived in Palouse since 2016.