By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson announced this morning that a special election to fill the Washington City Council Ward 1 seat left vacant when Kerry Janecek resigned will be held July 10.
Hinson also said that the candidate filing deadline is June 15. During a recent meeting, Hinson announced that four people had expressed interest in filling the seat. Washington City Clerk Illa Earnest has been designated as the filing officer for receiving and reviewing Nomination Petitions and Affidavits of Candidacy.
Since the election involves only one city ward and the population for that city ward is under 3500, the Washington County Auditor?s office will do hand counting with no machines. Half day polling hours from noon to 8 p.m. will also be done during the election.
During the regular city council meeting last week, the remaining members of the council unanimously approved holding a special election to fill the seat. The election will likely cost $1,800 to $2,500. After Janecek left, the council discussed appointing someone to the position, but opted to hold the special election due tot he amount of interest.
?With four interested parties, it lends me the thought that an election would be appropriate,? Mayor Jaron Rosien said. ?I only hope the four parties that were interested are still interested enough to get 25 signatures and putting their name on a ballot.?
Council member Elaine Moore said that she was originally against an election, but with the interest in the seat, she has changed her mind and supports having an election. Rosien said that he had also thought only one person would come forward and the council would appoint the member.
?it is great to see people coming forward,? Rosien said. ?I think this shows we are an agreeable group that works through problems. I find it to be positive people are showing this much interest.?
During the May 1 meeting, council member Steve Gault said that he wanted the council to hold a special election to fill the seat, saying that being a council member is an elected position and he felt the people should determine who will represent them.