Although only two months have passed since the municipal elections in 2021, not all city council seats in Washington County are filled and three different cities are applying for qualified residents to apply.
La Verkin, Washington and Hurricane all need new council members after council members have been elected mayor. Kelly Wilson of La Verkin, Kress Staheli of Washington and Nannette Billings of Hurricane were all elected mayors in the middle of the city council’s term, leaving all three councils vacant.
The cities will accept applications to fill the vacancies for another two weeks or so, and each city council will vote on who takes over the open term of the city council.
More:St. George swears in charge of Mayor Michel Randall, the first councilors of Larsen and Tanner
These open terms for each city will last two years. All three municipalities have launched calls for candidates. The cities will receive applications for about another two weeks and each city council will vote on who will take over the open term of the city council.
To qualify for these positions, the candidate must be a U.S. citizen, must be over 18 years of age, must have been legally resident in the city for the last 12 months prior to the date of appointment, must not be a current criminal, and must be a registered voter in the city. In addition to these legal requirements, Hurricane and Washington are asking all interested parties to provide additional information.
In Washington, candidates must submit a statement of intent to confirm that they meet the requirements, but the city also wants to know why each applicant wishes to be on the city council and what unique qualifications can be offered.
Hurricane demands more from applicants, wants a picture, a resume and a one- to two-page written statement explaining their views on city leadership and why they should be selected, according to a ordinance posted by the city.
“[Explain] why you are interested in how uniquely qualified you are to work on a city council and any previous involvement in city or community organizations or activities, ”says a public ordinance issued by Hurricane. city and priority issues you want to address. Briefly explain your view of the institute and the role of the local government and your ability to devote time to proper service. ”
La Verkin has a deadline for the applicant to submit information to his city registrar by the end of 18 January, and the latter will decide on the appointment at a regular council meeting on 19 January.
It will be a short application process. The deadline for these requests is about two weeks after Washington and Hurricane released the announcement on Monday and La Verkin on Tuesday.
The Utah State Code says the city council must meet with all applicants to discuss their qualifications and narrow the list of potential applicants to two before proceeding with the final vote.
More:Washington has elected a new mayor for the first time in 12 years. Here is his vision for the future
Washington only accepts applications for two weeks. The application deadline is January 17 at 5 pm and applications can be mailed or submitted to the city or by e-mail to the Washington City Recorder. The next day, January 18, there will be a meeting of the city council, where applications and possible appointments to the council will be discussed.
The hurricane is waiting for an extra day. The deadline is 18 January at 5 pm and the council will meet to discuss the applications on 20 January. The notice states that the relevant documents must be submitted to the office of the city registrar of Hurricane, which can be done by e-mail. .
It is common practice for municipalities in Utah to appoint an alternate if the elected official resigns before the official end of the term. In 2021, Michele Randall – who had just been elected for a four-year term – served as the appointed mayor of St. George after her predecessor Jon Pike left for a position in the governor’s administration. At the same time, two out of five city council members George served as nominees.
But even without elections, this process can turn out to be busy. In early 2021, after Randall became mayor and left her seat on the city council, there was a tied vote in the council about who should be appointed between Rick Erickson, Vardell Curtis and Natalie Larsen.
More: City Council George hires a mulligan to appoint a new member, choosing Vardell Curtis
Initially, the city decided to break the tie with a coin toss, and Erickson was briefly appointed, but city officials later found that they had misinterpreted state rules on municipal elections and the mayor had to cast a tie. After this was resolved, Randall selected Curtis to complete her term. However, he was not re-elected and ended up behind Larsen and Tanner in the 2021 election.
More:Hurricane City Election Results: Billings ahead of Tervort Mayor, tight race in council
There are various parts of the state code that define how to deal with these appointments to break the tie, but if the city government operates in a six-member council – five city councilors, one mayor – the mayor can draw a draw – break the vote. In these municipalities in southern Utah, where a member of the city council has been elected mayor, the new mayors will be able to appoint their own deputies if other councilors get stuck.
Because, for example, St. George serves as a six-member council, Randall voted for Curtis in 2021.
Sean Hemmersmeier covers local government, growth and development in southwestern Utah. Follow on Twitter @ seanhemmers34. Our work depends on subscribers, so if you want more coverage for these issues, you can subscribe here: http://www.thespectrum.com/subscribe.