1828, Webster’s Dictionary:
APPLICANT, noun One who applies; one who makes request; a petitioner.
1913, Webster’s Dictionary:
Applicant, n; One who applies for something; one who makes a request; a petitioner.

Applicant, noun, a person who appliesfor or requests something; a candidate: an applicant for a position.

Exhaustive research shows that the meaning of the word “applicant” has remained fairly constant. It hasn’t changed significantly since the most recent election in Montesano, anyway. After the most recent city council gathering, it seemed appropriate to point that out.
The words “fair,” and “reasonable,” haven’t changed much in that amount of time, either. Most of the job filling that’s done in the world at least pretends to be fair and reasonable. Making it clear that there is not only a preferred candidate, that hasn’t even actually submitted any form of application for a job that has not been formally posted as open, but that the the job description is not even written yet, doesn’t pass the smell test for “fair,” or “reasonable.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re in Montesano, Washington. Everybody who wants to knows what everybody else is doing. If you’re in city government, you’re in the fishbowl. Everybody sees everything you’re doing. The higher you are in the city government hierarchy, the bigger you are in comparison to the other fish. The mayor and the city council have zero chance of doing anything that isn’t visible and obvious.
Arguing for almost a half an hour over the meaning of the word “applicant” is not the way to engender the confidence of the gathered public that there is a lick of common sense on the dais. Also, for some folks, that might make it seem like somebody is trying to run a gadget play instead of being straightforward in the process of filling the public works position left open by a forced resignation.
Generate a job description, post it, and then allow a normal process for finding a suitable candidate. That would be fair and reasonable. Heck, there might be a suitable candidate out there who’s never been fired by the city.
Just a thought.
A city council position that opened in February isn’t being filled until May. That seems like a long time. Is there a published reason or rule for that gap?

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