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Process established for selection of interim council member to fill District 5 position

By Staff | Jul 25, 2017

City Council established the process by which they will appoint a temporary member to the District 5 seat between the date Council-member Rana Erbrick’s resignation becomes effective until the November general election.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, members agreed to advertise for applications immediately for the next 30 days. Applicants will be interviewed on Sept. 11 before the start of the regular council meeting. When the regular meeting convenes, council will announce its choice to fill the roughly two-month gap and swear in that person who will take the dais immediately to represent District 5.

Erbrick’s resignation takes effect Sept. 7, four days earlier. Candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 7 general election – James Schneider or Dave Stokes in District 5 – will then take over with the others elected in November in Districts 1, 4, 6 and mayoral races. All five will be sworn in at the first council meeting following the election.

All city elections are non-partisan and council members are elected at-large, meaning all voters can vote for candidates running for all council seats.

Schneider or Stokes will serve until Erbrick’s term runs out in 2019. According to state law, Erbrick had to resign her seat in order to run for mayor.

Anyone interested in applying to represent the district temporarily by appointment must qualify as a continuous, full-time resident of the city for the entire calendar year, reside in the district and be a registered voter.

Councilmember Rick Williams suggested the two candidates running in the November election not be considered to fill the temporary period.

Others on the council, however, believe it is wrong to exclude anyone from applying to represent the district. If a candidate did apply, council has the right to consider or deny them the appointment along with the others.

Erbrick offered, “The cleanest thing is to do the interviews and make the appointment after I’m off the council. That would be the kindest thing for me.”

Councilmember Jessica Cosden set the terms of the process in her motion to advertise, interview and appoint, which was unanimously approved.