Gault wants election to fill council seat

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


During the regular Washington City Council meeting Tuesday, council member Steve Gault said he wanted a special election to be used to fill the council seat left vacant when council member Kerry Janecek resigned last week.

During closing statements at the meeting, Gault said that he felt the position was an elected position and the council shouldn?t appoint someone to the position. The council has 60 days under Iowa law to appoint a replacement. The public can also call for a special election, by submitting a petition within 14 days after the publication of the intent to appoint. At least 10 people would have to sign the petition.

?Someone needs to step up and be elected,? Gault said.

Gault was first elected to the council as Ward 2 representative when he petitioned for a special election after council member Russ Zieglowski resigned. At the time the council had intended to appoint someone to fill the position for the remaining year of the term.

Mayor Jaron Rosien agreed with Gault, saying that a special election would be ?up to the public.?

?if they want to throw their names in and do the application and we appoint, that is fine; and if they want to do a special election, that is fine too,? Rosien said. ?I feel like we will get a good result either way.?

Gault said that two people in Ward 1, Janecek?s ward, needed to ?step up and do their job.?

Janecek resigned Friday, citing personal reasons. He was elected in 2015.

There was little discussion regarding the resignation at the meeting, as Janecek?s resignation was received after the agenda had come out. Rosien said that the situation would be discussed at the council?s May 15 meeting. During the opening of the meeting, Rosien thanked Janecek for his years of service to Washington.

?it is a priveledge to pass on gratitude to Kerry Janecek for his service on city council and to pass on best wishes for him in the future,? Rosien said. ?He was a diligent council member and he will be missed.?

A copy of a form that is given to people interested in applying for appointment to the position is available at Washington City Hall. Hinson said many of the questions are meant to determine that the potential candidate knows what will be required of him or her as a council member.

Hinson said the council could also choose to fill the position with a special election. He said the cost of a special election would be about $2,000.