Milton City Council member Debra Perry has been appointed Milton’s new mayor, succeeding Katrina Asay.
The council appointed Perry Monday night after opting not to open up the mayoral vacancy to residents not on the council.
Perry just finished her first year on the council.
She will serve as mayor at least until Dec. 31, 2011. Perry said she plans to run in the municipal general election in November when voters will decide who will fill out the remainder of Asay’s term ending in December 2013.
“I have big plans for Milton,” Perry said. “I really love this city. And I want to empower the people.” That includes helping volunteer groups accomplish more in Milton, Perry said.
Asay, Milton’s mayor since 2003, won election in November to House Position 2 in the 30th Legislative District, the Federal Way-area seat left open by Skip Priest’s successful bid for Federal Way mayor. Both Asay and Priest are Republicans. Asay resigned as mayor effective Dec. 31.
By a vote of 6-0, the City Council appointed Perry mayor Monday night. Perry could not vote, according to council rules.
In the strong mayor system, Perry oversees day-to-day city business for Milton, which has 6,540 residents and straddles Pierce and King counties. Milton also has a city administrator, Subir Mukerjee, who reports to the mayor.
Perry’s challenges include balancing the budget for a city that has been hit hard by budget cuts in the past two years.
Perry, 51, has lived in Milton for 12 years.
She is a member of the Pierce County Regional Council and the Puget Sound Regional Council.
She has previously served on the city’s planning commission, parks board and economic development board.
Perry does not hold a job now besides being mayor, but has worked as a commercial artist, marketing director and antique dealer. She is married and has a 14-year-old son.
The job as part-time Milton mayor pays $1,500 a month. Council members earn $400 a month.
The City Council is accepting applications from residents who want to take Perry’s position on the seven-member council. Those applications are due to City Hall by Feb. 4. The elected officials could appoint a new council member on Feb. 7.