Cotner resigns from Blaine City Council, moves to Texas

Clark Cotner has resigned from the Blaine City Council to move to Georgetown, Texas, on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

Cotner, whose first elected term would’ve continued through 2015, stepped down at the end of the council meeting on Monday. His resignation was effectively immediately.

“This is not an accident. It’s been planned for a while,” Cotner said in an interview.

He said he wanted to move back home to Texas for family and for business.

“I want to be close to be my grandkids. I just want to go back to Texas. That’s where my kids are, so why not? I like being a Texan. I like Texas,” said the 67-year-old Cotner, who also has a son living in Blaine.

The City Council will appoint someone to serve out the remainder of his term, possibly making that decision March 9.

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 20.

Blaine City Manager David Wilbrecht said officials wished Cotner well.

“He’d been taking trips down to Texas to visit family and spending a little bit more time there,” Wilbrecht said. “It wasn’t a total out of the blue notice, but we didn’t have any clue about when it was going to happen.”

Cotner has lived in Whatcom County for nearly 20 years, spending that time living briefly in Birch Bay before moving to Semiahmoo.

Cotner said he was proud of his revival of the city’s Economic Development Advisory Committee and its work, including the idea of a medical center in Blaine to attract Canadians to travel to the U.S. for medical procedures and so people wouldn’t have to travel to Bellingham and back.

“That’s when I felt I did the best thing for the city. I’m happy with that,” he said. “I had a good run.”

Cotner also lead the most recent effort to change Blaine’s name to Blaine Harbor to help attract tourists and businesses.

The advisory committee voted to recommend the name change. Cotner was criticized for the effort. Voters defeated the proposal in November.

He was elected to the four-year City Council seat in November 2011.