Shackelford steps down from Vashon's community council board

Mary Shackelford, newly elected to the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council's board of directors, resigned Wednesday after attending a meeting that she said suggested the new board would be expected to adhere tightly to procedural rules.

"Though of course there were opportunities to speak and participate, from my perspective one would need to be a seasoned politician, adept in the art of debate, or perhaps a trial lawyer to meet what was presented and offer a substantively different outlook," she said in a prepared statement. "I am none of these."

The decision came after a meeting Monday night, the first gathering of the new nine-member board, which was elected in November. The board oversees the community council, an Island-wide organization that all residents belong to and that acts as a liaison between Vashon and King County.

Jake Jacobovitch, who was elected board chair at the Monday night meeting, said he was sad that Shackelford decided to step down.

"She's a long-time, upstanding member of the community with a lot of good ideas," he said.

The board meeting began with an immediate reference to Robert's Rules of Orders, a 500-page book, and with other references to the state's administrative code.

Shackelford, who wrote a commentary in The Beachcomber expressing her concerns about the increasingly adversarial environment of the council, said she had hoped that the new board would conduct meetings using other, less formal communication techniques.

"It quickly became clear last Monday night that (the) community council is not the forum in which my energy and skills will be best used," she said in her statement. "I appreciate all the support I have received from people in the community, and I'm sorry to disappoint those who voted for me."

Jacobovitch said the board will fill Shackelford's position at its Jan. 3 board meeting. The board is now taking applications and will do so until Dec. 27.

Those interested in this position on the board should submit a one-page resume and letter of interest, which should include previous community service. There may be an interview. Materials should be emailed to Jacobovitch at or mailed to VMICC Board Vacancy, P.O. Box 281, Vashon, 98070.

The position is open to anyone 16 years or older.

For more information, contact Jacobovitch at 650-5253 or email him at

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