ENM looks to fill council vacancy

The Elko New Market City Council discussed filling a seat on the council at its Thursday, Dec. 6, meeting.

The seat will be vacant at the beginning of 2013 due to this year’s election. Current council member Tony Gabriel ran unopposed for mayor and won. Two years remain on the four-year term.

City Administrator Tom Terry presented the council with two options at the December 6 meeting. To either hold a special election or ask for applications and the council would choose someone.

Terry said the special election would require a twoand- a-half month period. People would file and then campaign and the city would have to set a date and prepare for it. The estimated cost would be $6,500. Terry noted since it would be during an off year there was a chance it would be a low voter turn out.

With the appointment the council would interview the applicants and vote on its choice. The council could determine what criteria they are looking for in an applicant. Terry recommended a Tuesday, Jan. 15, deadline for applications.

Mayor-elect Gabriel felt the special election is what they should do, although he realized the appointment was the better option. He felt if people considered being on the council important enough they would come forward and commit to running for office.

Council member Denise Schneider said in the last election people already had a chance to come forward.

Gabriel understood that. He said there have been people appointed to the council before and they have done a good job. He noted Lakeville and Prior Lake are in the same position and they were going to appoint people.

Council member-elect Bob Crawford was attending the meeting and he thought rather then spending money on a special election appointing someone was the better option.

Gabriel suggested the council send Terry ideas for the criteria, which would be part of its Thursday, Dec. 20, meeting.