In my letter to the editor in the Dec. 19 issue of The Star, I made statements that should be corrected.
I stated that the rush by the Mexico Beach city council to appoint someone to the suddenly vacant city council seat:
“...eliminates the residents from having any say in the selection of an ‘elected’ official who will be making decisions for the town for almost the entire two-year term...”
“...leaving almost all of his two-year term – 15 months, to be exact - to be filled not by the voters in Mexico Beach, but by only four people...”
My interpretation of the city charter regarding city council vacancies was not the same as the official interpretation, so the error regarding the length of the temporary term was mine.
The city charter states: “Section 2.96 Vacancies; Forfeiture of Office. (A) Vacancies. A vacancy in the Council shall occur upon the death, resignation or removal from office as authorized by law. When such vacancy occurs, the remaining Council members shall select, within (30) thirty days following the vacancy, by the affirmative vote of not less than (3) three of the remaining members, a person to fill the vacancy until the next regular election. At this election the seat shall be filled as provided herein for elections for the balance, if any, of the unexpired term.”
According to Mexico Beach city clerk Adrian Welle, the city’s interpretation of the charter is that the seat will be filled until the April 2014 election – three months instead of 15 months – and if the appointee wishes to remain in that post, he/she will have to run for re-election in April and whoever wins the seat will then serve a one-year term, to bring that seat back into its regular election cycle.
Additionally, the entire Mexico Beach City Council requested the special meeting in January to consider applicants. The mayor does not have that power on his own; as my letter suggested.
Mexico Beach resident