Appointing a New Council Member

When a vacancy develops in the St. George City Council, as will presumably occur next January, than the legislative body of the City appoints a new member.

In reading the city code it appears that the legislative body must advertise for at least two weeks.  During a set period of time the Council considers each of the candidate that applies for the position.  Then the city council selects someone to fill the office.  In certain places in the Code the mayor is included as a member of the legislative body.  Hence, the entire governing body will make the selection.

There is no mandate that a prior candidate for city council be selected.  Any member of the community may apply, and the the city council can make their choice.

There is a presumption among some people that “by right of passage” or some other arbitrary set of criteria, one of the previous candidates should be selected.  One argument presented is that since two candidates received approximately 5300 votes the council should select one of them because “so many people supported them”.

The problem with this argument is that it is purely self-serving.  While each of these candidates did receive a fair number of vote, it should be remember that is only somewhere north of 10% of the entire electorate.  Hence, about 90% of the eligible voters were NOT persuaded to support them.  See how easy it is to make a spurious argument in favor of or opposed to one’s pre-conceived notions.

Another argument would suggest that the person that got the most votes should be allowed to make the selection of their companion on the city council.  Afterall, logic being what it is, that person got the most votes meaning they had the most support which would imply they represent the majority of the electorate.

There is a slight problem with that argument though.  The mayor-elect got the most votes.  But, the Code does not allow him to make the selection.  Secondly, all voters were split between only two candidates, not four.  Further complicating the whole matter is the fact that one of losing candidates openly encouraged people to “vote for only one” during the city council race.  Preliminary numbers suggest that over 1100 ballots were cast for only one city council candidate.  Does that possibly imply that candidate will be in constant opposition to what the rest of the council supports, thus creating strife?

Nope, it seems the only logical thing to do, under this scenario, is let the first place candidate for city council select the person they want to serve on the council.  Given my support for Michele Randall would suggest that I would be in at least her top two hundred potentials (I am being presumptuous).  Again, folks see how easily self interests twist reality to meet our pre-conceptions.  [oh, just so there is no confusion, I have NO intention to apply to be on the city council].

For the interest of the community I believe that someone with positive experience in the city should be selected.  I believe that someone with a demonstrated history of continuace, not periodic, service to the city should be selected.  Those who have a demonstrated zeal to complain about the city should not be selected.  There is a multitude of people that fill that criteria.



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