Sixteen people applied to temporarily fill the citywide council seat vacated by interim Mayor Tim Burgess. They will now begin a process to win over at least five sitting city councilmembers who will vote to appoint their newest colleague on Oct 6.
Candidates had until Oct. 1 to turn in applications, which are expected to be transmitted to councilmembers by Oct. 3. That is also the date of the first optional public forum, held in the Bertha Knight Landes room.
Although the forums are not technically mandatory, councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Mike O’Brien signaled Monday that they would not support a candidate who did not appear at the Tuesday forum.
There are expected to be two forums leading up to the Oct. 6 vote. If no candidate succeeds at securing the five required votes by Oct. 6, the Council will be required to meet every subsequent business day until the spot is filled.
The interim councilmember will serve until Nov. 28, when either Position 8 candidates Teresa Mosqueda or Jon Grant will take office. The interim candidates would participate in the budget process, giving the unelected temporary position a significant role in the direction of the city.
The candidates with the best name recognition are former councilmember Nick Licata, for whom Councilmember Lisa Herbold served as a legislative aide, and Alex Tsimmerman, a profane, failed mayoral candidate who is currently barred from entering Council chambers for a year. Tsimmerman will be escorted to events by city staff.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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