September 16, 2013

Riverbank council sets dates for candidate interviews

The Riverbank City Council could appoint someone to a vacant seat as soon as Sept. 26

The timeline has tightened for appointing a new member to the City Council.

The city will take applications until Monday for the seat, which the council decided last week will be open only to people who have run in previous city elections.

The council plans to interview the applicants in public the following Thursday and possibly make a choice at the same meeting. The tentative plan had been to do this Oct. 7.

The appointee would serve the last 15 months of Dotty Nygard’s term. She resigned the seat Sept. 1.

Council members agreed that they did not want the seat to go to a special election, which could cost up to $57,000 and would not take place until next year. Under state law, that outcome would be forced on the council if it does not make an appointment within 60 days of the resignation, or Oct. 30.

The council voted 3-1 to limit the pool to past candidates. Those who voted yes said those candidates have already made themselves known to the community. Councilwoman Darlene Barber-Martinez preferred appointing the second-place finisher in a special election in June, Diana Gonzalez.

State election law gives Riverbank the option of limiting the candidate pool when trying to fill a vacancy by appointment. Any city resident who is registered to vote can run in an election.

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