Posted by: sweeneyblog | August 22, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: City Council President Cathy Lehman to Resign

Breaking news, City Council President Cathy Lehman to resign her elected office at the end of this year to take a position with the Washington Environmental Council (WEC) and Washington Conservation Voters (WCV). In this new role, she would, “help advance climate change policy regionally, educate and turn out voters for environmental priorities and candidates statewide, and hold elected officials accountable to their environmental values,” said Lehman in a statement to the press.

Of course I'm going to use this picture of Cathy Lehman

Of course I’m going to use this picture of Cathy Lehman

Lehman, who was elected in 2009 2011 to the Bellingham City Council was formerly part of a political consulting firm, Lehman-McShane Strategies, with local organizer Lisa McShane however the two parted ways earlier this year. This new job will be out of Seattle, so she will be moving down there after December.

She addressed the issue of leaving before the end of her term in her statement. “Nevertheless, this has been a very difficult decision. Many hours of sleep have eluded me because I have worked hard to serve the City of Bellingham, and I greatly respect the honor of the office of City Council. Since the beginning of my run for office, I’ve been humbled by the support I’ve felt from so many of you, and I take the trust you have placed in me very seriously. The responsibilities of my position are not something I take lightly, and I have not wanted to let you down.

But my life’s work is, and always has been, one of public service and advancing practical solutions for our environmental challenges. And making real advances to address climate change may be the single most important work of our lifetimes.”

In January, the City Council will have to appoint a citizen from the 3rd Ward (downtown, Sunnyland neighborhood and others) to fill the remainder of Lehman’s term (till the end of 2015). That seat is also up for reelection in 2015, further complicating the issue. If the council cannot agree on a candidate, after 30 days the decision is passed to the mayor.

On a personal note, I will miss her clear voice for moderation and functional policy. I’ve always found her approachable, lively and determined to do what is best. WEC and WCV are lucky to have her.



  1. Nice! Thx.

    I do think you mean “formerly” instead of “formally” for the Lehman McShane part. 🙂

    Also a link to a ward 3 map would be cool if you can add it. There are actually parts of Sehome, York, Roosevelt, Puget, Columbia and other neighborhoods in my ward. It’s a weirdly drawn one; I have more neighborhoods than any other ward.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • I’ve got a map up now – good suggestion and yes, good catch on the verbiage. Obviously this post didn’t go past my editor first.

      • Fire your Editor.

      • Never! Deb does a fantastic job with no recognition and is an integral part of this site.

  2. The question comes to mind: where will she do the most damage to our Freedoms and Liberty-on the Council of the people’s Republic of Bellingham or the Washington Environmental Council (WEC) and Washington Conservation Voters (WCV)?

  3. All the BTV10 cameras are quietly weeping at this announcement.

  4. Cathy has been a breath of fresh air on the council I am sad for us but happy for her, I wish her nothing but the best on her new journey she will do a great job.

  5. Maybe Lisa can fill in. She lives in the 3rd ward.

  6. Oh, you will be missed, Cathy! You’ve done so much for our little ‘burg, and I’ve always had the utmost respect for your rational (but soulful), inclusive, and steadying presence on council and in your earlier work. Best of luck back in the advocacy world again. Go, team!

  7. Thanks everybody! By the way, Riley just noticed it says I was elected in 2009… sadly, it wasn’t until 2011. Started serving in 2012. 🙂

  8. […] are a great deal of rumors flying around about who will be appointed to fill out the remainder of Cathy Lehman’s term on the city council. The basics are this: the person is chosen by the city council in Dec/Jan, they will serve from […]

  9. […] to Wendy Harris who managed to make me spew my coffee all over my laptop. In my recent post about filling the remainder of Cathy Lehman’s term, Harris offered her own satirical platform for […]

  10. […] Maute-Gibson, applicant to the City Council seat vacated by Cathy Lehman, started out our interview on the right foot – she brought annotated maps. “The 3rd ward […]

  11. […] was the deadline for applicants for the vacancy on the Bellingham City Council so we finally have the official list of who is being considered for the position. I’ve added some […]

  12. […] I sat down with Dan Hammill, applicant for the City Council vacancy, to discuss his vision for Bellingham and he cut right to the heart of the matter. “I am applying […]

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