Ms. Fortier goes to Washington |

Ms. Fortier goes to Washington

Adam Jensen

City Councilwoman Claire Fortier has attended her last meeting as an elected representative of South Lake Tahoe.

The councilwoman, who concluded a one-year stint as mayor on Tuesday, said she plans to leave for Washington state next week.

In June, Fortier said she had plans to move to Redmond, Wash., to join her spouse, Maria Pielaet, who had accepted a position to set up a health clinic for Microsoft.

She vowed to stay on with the council at least through passage of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Regional Plan Update, which was approved Wednesday. Fortier is the city’s representative on the TRPA’s Governing Board and was part of a TRPA committee and a bi-state consultation group that helped shape the plan.

The two-decade resident of the Lake Tahoe Basin said she will miss the area “enormously” and does not know what she will do for work in the Pacific Northwest.

“As far as the city is concerned I think the city is operating well and has a really dedicated staff and council, which is more than most jurisdictions can ask for,” Fortier said Thursday.

Fortier said as recently as last month that she had no immediate plans to leave because she had been unable to sell her house. She said Friday that she has still not sold her house, but will head to Washington anyway.

“It was critical to me to stay through the RPU process,” Fortier said.

City code requires the council appoint someone to a vacant seat on the council, or call a special election to fill the position, within 60 days from the seat becoming vacant.

“The special election shall be held on the next regularly established election date not less than 114 days from the call of the special election,” according to the code.

Anyone elected or appointed to the position could serve out the remainder of Fortier’s term, which ends in December 2014.

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