The Kansas City Council on Thursday selected Cokethea Hill as the interim 5th District council representative, replacing Michael Brooks.
Hill, 35, is vice president of special initiatives at the United Way of Greater Kansas City. She will be sworn in Wednesday and start her council duties after that.
“I want to be responsive,” Hill told the City Council during her interview before her selection. “I’m going to make sure I’m responsive.”
Brooks resigned effective Jan. 2 amid an allegation that he had assaulted an aide. He denied any wrongdoing. A special prosecutor is reviewing the allegation.
Hill fills Brooks’ unexpired term and will serve until a new City Council takes office on Aug. 1. She is not a candidate for the next term.
Hill previously was appointed to the Kansas City school board, where she served from 2008 to 2010. Before taking her job at United Way, she worked in neighborhood outreach for the Green Impact Zone, an initiative that aimed to restore housing and infrastructure in a large swath of east Kansas City.
The council voted 11-2 in favor of Hill over two other finalists: Ruth Turner, 53, an engineer who is in her fourth year as the 5th District’s representative on the Public Improvements Advisory Committee, and Rianna Deselich, 57, the South-East representative on the Kansas City Neighborhood Advisory Council.
Council members said all three finalists, chosen from a dozen applicants by a citizens commission, were excellent. They especially appreciated Hill’s passion and work with youths and neighborhood activism.
“I really was impressed with how this young person has devoted much of her life to public service,” said Councilman John Sharp.
Hill didn’t know whether she would take a leave from her United Way job but said her boss supported her taking the time to serve on the council and she was prepared to devote considerable hours to that task.