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News :: Quagmire: Council needs telephone vote to approve appointment of new members
· 8:18pm August 14th, 2014
The Vinton City Council dealt with a unique "quagmire," as Mayor John Watson called it during Thursdays meeting:
The quagmire: With two of its six members no longer in office, and one of the four remaining members absent, there was not a sufficient number of council members present to vote on any thing, including the appointment of people to fill the vacancies.
"We can't even conduct business, John," said City Attorney Bob Fischer. "We can't even approve the minutes."
WIth Council members Tami Stark, Chris Bendull and Ron Hessenius present and Ron Elwick absent, Mayor Watson had to call Ron Elwick, who was traveling in his vehicle during the meeting. Elwick voted by phone on a few other issues before joining in the vote as the council appointed Dave Vermedahl to fill the vacancy left by Dave Redlinger.
Vermedahl will serve through Dec. 31; the seat will be added to the November ballot, even though even-year elections do not normally include city offices.
Mayor Watson administered the oath of office to Vermedahl. He then took his seat with the other members, creating a quorum that enabled the council to act on items of business.
The council is also dealing with the vacancy in the Third Ward seat, which Bud Maynard recently vacated.
"I'm not sure if this situation has ever come up before," said Fischer. "This is interesting."
There was one stipulation, however: With just four members, all votes would have had to be unanimous in order to pass.
Zach Parmeter appointed to Third Ward vacancy
With four members now present, the council had a quorum, and then could take action on the vacancy left by Maynard's resignation.
A few people have expressed interest in filling the vacancy.
Mayor Watson said hoped several people would seek election to the seat.
The filing period with The Benton County Auditor's Office began on August 4th and ends August 27th. The Auditor's Office must to receive the Affidavit of Candidacy and Nomination papers no later than 5 p.m. on August 27th. The candidates would need to have at least 25 signatures for their nomination papers.
Zach Parmeter and Kathy Tranel both officially applied for the appointment.
Tami Stark moved to appoint Parmeter for the duration of Maynard's term, which expires at the end of 2017. That means that while the at-large vacancy will be filled by the November election, there will be no election for the Third Ward seat.
The council unanimously voted in favor of Parmeter's appointment, although Vermedahl expressed concern about making an appointment for that long of time without an election. City Clerk Chris Ward responded that recent changes in Iowa law allow the council to make that type of appointment.
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