By Jack MayneJack Mayne

First-term Councilmember Joel Wachtel resigned from the SeaTac City Council Tuesday (May 26) and said he was leaving immediately for a new home in Tampa, Fla.

“I am very proud of the time on this council and very proud of that time,” he said. “It is a time for my wife and I to enjoy our golden years.”

“I will miss you all,” and wished fellow members “the very best and take care of this city.”

Wachtel was serving his first term on the Council, having defeated former Councilmember Kathryn Campbell by 239 votes in the November 2017 election.

Wachtel’s vacant seat will be filled by an appointment by the remaining council.

In recent times, Wachtel joined other Councilmembers over issues with a request by Councilmember Takele Gobena for the city to pay for research on the potential effects of the COVID-19 effects on SeaTac residents. It is important research, Gobena said, to find resources for support for the community and small businesses as well.

But Wachtel stressed the cost of such a project would be too expensive and largely available already, just not packaged as Gobena was suggesting.

Wachtel said he was in favor of continuing to have City Manager Carl Cole handle the issue for the city. The Council agreed.

In SeaTac, Wachtel was on several City Council committees, including as chair of the SeaTac Council Public Safety and Justice Committee, member of the Airport Advisory Committee, member of the Sidewalk Advisory Committee and member of the Fire Fighters’ Retirement System Disability Board and member of the Puget Sound Regional Fire Governance board.

Never forget 9-11
Last September, on the anniversary of 9-11, Wachtel said that when he was a New Yorker he would remember that day forever.

“I will never forget that day, Sept. 11, 2001,” said Wachtel during the last moments of the Sept. 10 Council meeting.

“I was working in my office in Connecticut and one of the staff yelled out, ‘a plane just hit the World Trade Center.’ I was very involved in my job and thought ‘It’s just a small plane, some new pilot trying to fly between the towers.’ Twenty or so minutes later, that same employee yelled, ‘Oh, my God, another plane just hit the Trade Center.’ It was then that I began to fear this was not an accident. The damage was catastrophic.”