(Above: Click play button to see archived video of Harrell’s statement, Q&A, and oath)
4:50 PM: Watch it here live – one day after Ed Murray announced he’s resigning as mayor, City Council President Bruce Harrell will take the oath of office to become interim mayor. That’s set for 5:01 pm, after he – at least, as announced in advance – makes a statement and takes media Q&A. Updates to come.
4:54 PM: With City Council colleagues and city department heads among those surrounding him, Harrell has taken the podium, a bit later than expected. “I don’t see this as a caretaking obligation .. I see this as an opportunity to set the stage for excellence,” Harrell said. He is not yet announcing whether he will keep the interim job or decline it – but is hoping to announce his decision by 5 pm Friday, and has advised the council to be potentially ready to take action next Monday (September 18th). He mentions that the presentation of the city budget is coming up and “either I will present it, or I will receive it.” After mentioning a variety of issues he expects it to address, he says, “Let’s heal together … for those who are hurting, let’s heal together. We have a lot of work to do as a team – so let’s do it. It’s as simple as that.”
Asked what factors he’s evaluating in making his decision, Harrell says he’ll put “the needs of the city” first, whatever he decides, not his own “agenda.” Asked about some of the procedural points in the City Charter, he says it’s been a “challenge” to “dig out what the charter addresses,” and promises a “citywide e-mail” to reassure employees about the continuity of their work.
5:09 PM: Harrell has been sworn in as mayor. (As Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times pointed out on Twitter, city webpages already have a new header with his name replacing Murray’s.)
5:12 PM: The swearing-in event is over, so we’ve removed the live-video window atop this story, replaced it with an image from the Seattle Channel feed, and will re-add the full archived video once it’s available.
P.S. Harrell ran for mayor in 2013, finishing fourth in the primary behind Murray, then-incumbent mayor Mike McGinn, and former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck. His current council term has two more years to go, unless he gives it up by deciding to keep the interim mayoral job until the November election results are certified.
6:19 PM: Archived as-it-happened Seattle Channel video is now embedded above.
THURSDAY NOTE: We originally embedded the archived video from YouTube; it’s now available from the Seattle Channel site (minus the outdated “live at 4:45 pm” slate), so we have substituted that.