There are a number of ways you can get involved with your city government. Here are just a few:
Run for Mayor
The mayor is elected to a four-year term. The current term ends at the end of 2013 and the current salary is $102,000/year. At the end of his term, the current mayor will have served a quarter century in public office, with 20 of those in the mayor's office. Filing for the next election will be in May 2013.
Volunteer for a City Committee
The mayor appoints members of the public to several boards, commissions, and committees. Vacancies are not always advertised, so you may want to register your interest in serving on any of them well in advance of a vacancy.
Contact Your City Councilmember
Residents of Anacortes are represented by three city councilmembers elected by wards (PDF map), and four councilmembers elected at-large. Please feel free to contact me or your other councilmembers. All emails to public officials are public records and subject to disclosure.
Attend Council Meetings
The public is welcome to attend council meetings, which are regularly held in the council chambers at City Hall on Mondays at 7pm, except:
- In weeks when Monday is a holiday, the meeting is held on Tuesday
- In months with five Monday, there is no meeting the fifth Monday
- Meetings are occasionally canceled for "lack of pressing business"
On the City website, you can find agendas for the next meeting or past meetings, as well as the documents referenced on those agendas, and approved minutes from past meetings.
Informal public comment is allowed during the "citizen hearings" portion of the agenda.
Watch Council Meetings
You can also watch City Council meetings, although not live, on Comcast Cable TV 10 or via streaming web video.
Attend Council Committee Meetings
The City Council operates a number of standing committees that meet on a somewhat-regular schedule. Meetings are public, but participation is allowed at the discretion of the committee.
Run for City Council
City Council elections occur in odd-numbered years. File with the Skagit County Auditor. If a vacancy occurs on the Council in the interim, the Council will appoint a replacement after soliciting letters of interest from the community.
Keep track of land use projects and proposals
If you're interested in land use (and you should be!), the City planning department maintains a list of current land use projects, legal notices, and upcoming meetings. You may not receive any other notice of these projects, so please check back to these pages regularly.
Testify at Public Hearings
Many larger land use proposals are evaluated by the Planning Commission and City Council after a public hearing—a formal meeting where members of the public can comment on the merits of the proposed policy or project. Oral testimony is generally limited to three minutes.