RIVERBANK — Voters on Tuesday will fill a City Council seat that has been vacant for nearly half a year.
Cal Campbell, Jeremy Fennell and Diana Gonzalez are seeking the seat vacated by Richard O'Brien after his election as mayor in November. The winner will serve until late 2014.
The election has been a low-key and civil one, with the candidates offering their views mainly on how to restore health to city finances and plan for future population growth.
Turnout could be low, as there is nothing else on the ballot. The last time Riverbank had a single-race special election, in March 2011, only 18 percent of the registered voters took part.
After O'Brien assumed the mayor's post Dec. 10, the council deadlocked 2-2 over four meetings on how to fill the vacancy.
O'Brien and Councilwoman Jeanine Tucker favored appointing Campbell or another of the five unsuccessful candidates in the November council election. Councilwomen Darlene Barber- Martinez and Dotty Nygard preferred to open the appointment to all registered voters.
All agreed that they did not want the matter to go to a special election, which could cost up to $57,000, but that's what happened because of the deadlock.
The city is conducting the vote because Stanislaus County officials, who normally handle it, said that the special election was not called by the deadline in state law.
City officials said the election was called properly. They are conducting it with help from Gladwell Governmental Serv-ices of Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County, one of the firms certified by the California secretary of state's office to do such work.
For voters, the election varies little from one run by the county. The main difference is that the ballots will be counted by hand in Riverbank on election night, rather than by machine at the county office in Modesto.
Key information for voters:
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Counting will start with mail ballots at 8 p.m. It will be followed by counting of votes cast at polling places. The counting, open to the public, will be at the Riverbank Community Center, 3600 Santa Fe St.
More information is at (209) 863-7122 or www.riverbank.org.