Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 | 10:34 p.m.
- Henderson City Council to decide on filling vacant seat (Dec. 15, 2011)
The Henderson City Council voted Tuesday night to appoint a new council member for the Ward 3 seat to replace outgoing Kathleen Vermillion, rather than hold a special election.
After accepting Vermillion’s formal resignation, the council voted 3 to 1, with Vermillion abstaining, to move forward with the $340 appointment process to find a new council member. The process will cost $340 to publish a legal notice in the newspaper.
Councilman Sam Bateman was the only member to vote against the appointment, saying he wanted the new council member to be “accountable to voters and have them feel comfortable and legitimate.”
Bateman said although the city was facing tough economic times, he felt the $248,000 needed for a special election would be “money well spent.”
Councilwoman Gerri Schroder said a special election would be an unbudgeted expense and that an appointment with an extensive review of applicant resumes would be more cost effective.
“I just can’t see spending the extra money when we don’t even have it,” Schroder said.
Vermillion, who announced her resignation earlier this month, will no longer serve on the council after Jan 3. The council has 30 days from then to appoint a new council member.
Mayor Andy Hafen said he did not receive comments from the public on the matter and said the best thing the council could do was to “be as fiscally responsible as (it) could be.”
Hafen said people who apply for the position will go through a formal application process as well as give a presentation to the council.
Applicants can apply for the position Jan. 3 to Jan. 10. Once applicants are considered, a special meeting can be held to choose a candidate Jan. 19 and a ceremonial swearing in would take place Feb. 6.
The council appointed Councilwoman Deborah March in 2009 to fill the Ward 2 seat left vacant when Hafen was elected mayor. Sixteen candidates vied for the position.