Yakima City Councilwoman Sara Bristol plans to leave office at the end of the year, just halfway through her first term.
Since joining council in January 2012, she’s been at the center of several big policy changes for the city, such as pursuing the downtown revitalization plan, banning smoking during events in public parks and asking voters to earmark $2 million in the city’s budget each year for repairing failing roads, to name a few.
Bristol expressed disappointment that she won’t finish her term, but said she’ll keep working for Yakima residents until she leaves.
Bristol and her family are returning to her hometown of Grants Pass, Ore. A job offer for her husband prompted the family’s decision to move. Chris Bristol, a veteran reporter at the Yakima Herald-Republic, starts Tuesday as the city editor for the Grants Pass Daily Courier.
Bristol said she and the couple’s two children plan to join him in December. She will also work at the Daily Courier as a copy editor.
Sara Bristol also worked as a writer in the Herald-Republic’s niche products department before leaving in 2010 to start her own local parenting magazine, Busybee.
In late 2011, she was elected to City Council Position No. 2, beating Rich Marcley with 72 percent of the vote.
While she has informed other council members, Bristol hasn’t officially announced her resignation, so the council hasn’t made any decision on when it will start looking for someone to fill her seat until the next regularly scheduled city election in November 2015.
The city’s process for filing a vacant council seat requires the council to take applications for the position and appoint a candidate with a majority vote, but it doesn’t set a timetable.
Since Bristol was elected from District 2, applicants must live in the district, which roughly occupies south-central Yakima. Generally, it runs from Tieton Drive south to the city limits. Between Tieton Drive and West Nob Hill Boulevard, it runs from South 40th Avenue on its western edge to South 10th Street in the east.
South of West Nob Hill Boulevard, its eastern edge is the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad tracks. It also includes West Washington Avenue to South 48th Avenue. A map is available online at www.yakimawa.gov/council/assets/distmap.pdf.
Editor’s Note: This story has been changed to correct Sara Bristol’s former job at the Herald-Republic.