Carol Blood is Bellevue's first at-large City Council member, and she'd like to be its last.
Blood has proposed getting rid of the at-large council seat, which was created when the council downsized from 10 members to six in 2008.
She put the issue in front of other council members for a discussion Monday.
Blood said she's been thinking about the matter for more than a year and a half. She said having an at-large council member can confuse constituents about who represents them, and the cost of a citywide election might prevent qualified candidates from seeking the spot.
She also said the at-large member deals with five times the number of calls as other council members but isn't paid any more.
Blood said there is tension between the at-large position and the Mayor's Office.
“I believe that the at-large position creates an odd dynamic between the mayor and that position,” she said in a press release. “A dynamic that may create a perception of a power struggle, and that is not healthy for Bellevue's image.”
At the Monday meeting, Blood said people might get confused.
“Anybody who had a newspaper knew that I got 2,000 more votes than the mayor,” Blood said.
Mayor Rita Sanders pointed out that she and Blood ran in different elections two years apart. She said she doesn't think there is tension between the two spots.
“I've never had it, so I don't know what she's hearing,” Sanders said.
Councilman Steve Carmichael agreed. “I don't think it takes away from the mayor one iota,” he said.
Other council members said they would be open to her proposal, though they wouldn't like to see the council reduced.
Council President Don Preister called the at-large spot an “unfair and overworked position.”
The council instructed City Attorney Pat Sullivan to look into the matter further and present options.
The members did not vote on anything at the meeting.
Blood, a Democrat, is seeking the governor's nomination for an open seat in the Legislature vacated by Republican Scott Price's resignation. Blood plans to run for the District 3 seat in 2014.
If her council proposal succeeds, it would be the second time in a decade that the council has downsized.
Bellevue voters overwhelmingly passed a measure in 2006 requiring that the 10-member council shrink to its current six members.
The smaller council took over in 2008. Blood was one of four fresh faces who joined the council that year.
Blood said she knew what she signed on for, and that she's happy with the job.
“This is not about me,” she said. “This is about moving Bellevue forward.”