By Chris Furguson
At their November 20 meeting, the City of Brawley chose the method they would use to fill a vacancy left by the departing Ryan Kelley. The council chose to appoint from a list of potential applicants rather than hold a special election in March or June of 2013.
Applicants will have a week to file their paperwork with a deadline of November 28, followed by a five minute presentation during a special meeting on Monday, December 3. After the presentations, the council will choose their new council member.
The term left by Kelley will remain until November 2015. Kelley won a seat on the County Board of Supervisors earlier this year, necessitating his resignation two weeks ago.
Of concern was the length of the vacancy and the cost to be incurred should an election be held. City Attorney Dennis Morita told the council that, in his recollection, the city had 30 days to appoint someone or choose to have an election.
As the filing deadline for a March election was November 6, Brawley would have to wait until June 2013. “I’m concerned about the length of time with only having four members on the council instead of five,” said Brawley Mayor George Nava.
The rest of the council, Sam Couchman, Don Campbell and Miguel Miranda, seemed to be in agreement with the mayor’s concerns. Couchman initially preferred the special election option mainly due to the length of remaining time on Kelley’s term, but agreed to the appointment process.
A special election would have to be paid for by the city and costs could have run as high as $30,000.
Those interested in the position will be notified in local media and other processes when applications are available. A form similar to the one used for Planning Commission applicants will be created.