By Alison Ecklund
Sedona City Council agreed, 4-2, to fill its vacant seat until the term expires in 2012.
When former Councilman Marc Sterling resigned April 22 to pursue filming a movie in Sedona, the six remaining councilors were left with some options to replace him.
They could fill his seat until the next scheduled election in 2010, then let the voters decide, or they could fill his seat until his term’s expiration in 2012.
On Tuesday, May 12, Councilors Nancy Scagnelli, Pud Colquitt, Dan Surber and Vice Mayor John Bradshaw agreed that appointing someone for one year hardly gave the appointee time to catch on before the 2010 election.
Mayor Rob Adams and Councilor Cliff Hamilton opposed the motion, claiming the council should be filled by election in 2010, not appointment until 2012.
“I feel very strongly that the people of this city deserve an elected council,” Hamilton said, not an appointed one.
With four seats up for election in 2010, it won’t be an “appointed” council, Bradshaw said. There will only be one appointed councilor after that election.
In 2010, four seats — Scagnelli’s, Surber’s, Colquitt’s and Adams’ — will be up for election.
Bradshaw, Hamilton and Sterling’s replacement will remain seated until 2012, unless one of the three step down to run for mayor.
In the case that Bradshaw, Hamilton or the newly appointed councilor decides to run for mayor, there will be five elected seats in the 2010 election.
Appointing someone until the 2010 election means five people would be elected to council that year, and that’s too much, Scagnelli said.
“I think that’s risky for the council and we could have more. If Bradshaw stepped down to run for mayor, we’d have six people,” she said. “I think it’s better to appoint for the unexpired term and not have that seat up for election.”
Sedona resident Barbara Litrell would like to elect the person to fill the council seat, she said.
“I would like to have as many elected people as possible. I think a lot of our residents feel the same way,” Litrell told council.
The people deserve the option to elect, Sedona resident Dick Ellis said.
“I don’t think we should allow the voting block to appoint someone for three years,” he said. “The stuff about having too many council people elected in one year is fluff.”
It’s not fluff, Bradshaw said. If he hadn’t decided to run for council again in 2008, three days before the election, there would have only been three people running for three seats.
“There’s going to be three seats and one mayor to be elected in the next election, and I think we’re going to have a hard time getting people to run for council,” Bradshaw said.
Appointing someone until 2012 is not going to create a voting block because at least four new people could be elected in 2010, he said.
Candidates can submit applications until Tuesday, June 2, with interviews to be held the third week in June.
Alison Ecklund can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 125, or e-mail
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