New parks commissioner joins board early

Vashon Park District commissioner John Hopkins resigned from the board last week, and Scott Harvey, who challenged him and won the election, was expected to be sworn in Tuesday evening, after The Beachcomber’s press deadline.

Hopkins said that he resigned so the board would have the option to seat Harvey early, providing Harvey an opportunity to be a part of the the district’s 2014 budget process.

Reached last week, Harvey said he had been expecting to take office in January, but is pleased to take over the position now.

“I’m excited, and I’m a little apprehensive,” he said. “I was expecting a month to prepare. I will have to get up to speed.”

Harvey, who has worked in the banking industry for many years, noted he is looking forward to contributing to the budget process as a full-fledged board member and not a commissioner-elect.

The issue of seating Harvey before January first arose at the Nov. 19 park board meeting after an audience member asked about Hopkins’ absence. Chair Joe Wald then announced Hopkins’ resignation.

As part of that conversation, commissioner David Hackett made a motion to seat Harvey immediately, when Lu-Ann Branch raised a question about the legality of doing so before the election is certified. No one seconded the motion, and the motion died.

Following the meeting, Hackett said that because Hopkins had been appointed to fill an open seat last year, his term ran only until the election was certified, in this case Nov. 26. Following the certification, the winner of the election should be seated immediately, he said.

Kim van Ekstrom, a spokeswoman for King County Elections, concurred, explaining that when a person fills an unexpired term, his or her term is up with the election certification. Regardless of whether or not Hopkins had resigned, she said, the plan should have been for Harvey to be seated Nov. 26.

Doug Ostrom, also newly elected to the board, will take his seat in January, replacing commissioner David Hackett.

Hopkins, who has served on many boards in the community, said he plans to take some time off to travel then become involved in community matters again.

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