The shuffle of leadership in Fife took another step Tuesday night, shortly after the City Council formally recognized Winston Marsh for his service to the community a week after he resigned his post as mayor so he could focus on his health.
“I’ll miss serving the citizens of Fife greatly, but am proud of the City Council and staff and what we’ve been able to accomplish together,” he said in his announcement. Marsh added that his decision to resign from the City Council “was necessary for me to focus on my health, well-being and family at this time in my life.”
Marsh was first elected to the council in late 2013 and had served as mayor since last January. His last day in office was Feb. 21.
Following the recognition of Marsh’s time in public service, the council voted in a 3-2 vote for Councilmember Kim Roscoe to fill the mayoral seat through the rest of the year. Council members Dee-Dee Gether sided with Yambi and Roscoe, while council members Pat Hulcey and Lew Wolfstrom backed Councilmember Tim Curtis, who was absent.
“Winston did a great job serving the citizens of Fife, and I know we will continue to make great accomplishments serving for the City of Fife,” Roscoe said.
Yambi will remain deputy mayor and lead council meetings when Roscoe is not available.
The role of mayor of Fife is largely ceremonial and is selected by the council itself to serve as the chair of council meetings and represent the city on regional boards. A new mayor will be selected from among the council members next January to serve a term of two years.
Roscoe is a small business owner and event coordinator for CHI Franciscan Health. She has served several stints on the seven-member Fife City Council dating back to 2002 through 2009 and then was appointed to fill vacant positions in 2011 and 2013. She then returned to the council when she was elected for a full term in 2015. Roscoe is the 60-year-old city’s 13th mayor and its second female mayor. The council voted in 2015 to rename City Hall after the city’s first female mayor, the late Marian Wetsch, who served as mayor from 1996 to 1999, after terms on the council that started in 1988. She is credited with the relocation of City Hall and the construction of the Fife Police Department facility.
Following the selection of mayor, the council then outlined the process to fill the vacancy on the council itself, something the council must do in 90 days or the vacancy will be filled by the Pierce County Council, according to state law. The appointee will serve until the next public vote in the fall.
Applications to fill the vacancy will be accepted through March 20, with the council set to interview candidates at the regular council meeting on March 28. Applications are available at City Hall and online at CityofFife.org.
Also during the meeting, the council lifted its ban on marijuana. Production and processing of marijuana products will now be allowed in industrial areas, while retail operations will be located in regional commercial zones. The city approved a ban in 2014, which faced legal challenges that were settled out of court to allow the Gallery to open this year. The Puyallup Tribe has plans to open a retail outlet on trust land, which would not have been affected by a ban or its repeal.
Council meetings are temporarily being held in the Fife School District Boardroom since the council chambers are closed for renovations.