The Federal Way City Council has put off until Dec. 1 a decision on when voters will elect a mayor.
Council members decided Tuesday night to wait to hear from the Washington Secretary of State’s office about whether the city’s first strong-mayor election must be held within six months of Nov. 24.
On Nov. 3, voters opted to switch from the current council-manager form of government, but some ballots are still being counted. The official election certification is set for Nov. 24, which is next Tuesday.
City Attorney Pat Richardson said she and King County elections believe state law does not require the election to take place within six months. She presented options for general elections on April 27, Aug. 17 or Nov. 2, preceded by primary elections.
Council member Jim Ferrell, who led the strong-mayor campaign and has announced he will run for the job, said proponents believed state law required the election within six months. Richardson said that appears to be the case during odd-numbered years, but not even-numbered years.
Some council members indicated they favored having the general election Nov. 2 – preceded by the primary Aug. 17 – to save money and allow more time to plan for the change.
Aug. 17 is the state primary election and Nov. 2 is the state general election. The city could possibly save up to $90,000 by using those dates, because more election costs would be shared with the state.