By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at public service without the pesky long-term commitment, the Keizer City Council has a deal for you.
At its meeting Tuesday, July 5, the council declared vacant the seat most recently held by Dennis Koho, whose term was set to expire in January 2017. Koho resigned July 1 due to health concerns and the declaration sets in motion a timetable for the sitting members of the council to appoint his replacement.
Whomever is selected will serve on the council at least until January 2017, and will have to run for election to the seat in November if they choose to continue in the role.
Here are the important dates leading up to the swearing in of a new councilor in August:
July 22 – Interested candidates have until 5 p.m. to submit letters of interest and resumes for consideration. Submissions can be sent to City Record Tracy Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 25 – Letters will be sent to all interested parties inviting them to give a presentation outlining their interests and qualifications on Aug. 1 beginning at 6 p.m. The letters will include sitting councilors’ questions, if any.
Aug. 1 – Candidates will make their presentations and council members will vote to fill the vacancy in an open ballot. The new councilor will be sworn in at the beginning of the city council meeting that evening.
Given the short time period when a new councilor is appointed and the election of a new councilor in November, Councilor Amy Ryan asked whether is was possible to postpone the appointment until a new councilor is elected.
City Attorney Shannon Johnson responded that the city charter was clear that the council should appoint a new individual to the seat within 45 days of a vacancy being declared.
“If you chose not to declare the vacancy, it probably couldn’t be challenged, but it is vacant and the declaration” sets in motion the replacement process, Johnson said