Each of the nine candidates vying for the Zone 3 City Council seat were given 5 minutes to address the City Council in a special meeting in Council chambers at noon on Wednesday. The meeting took about an hour's time, in total.
The City sent out a news release regarding the meeting. If you were unable to attend but, would like to listen to the candidates for yourself, the news release indicated it will air on "...the City's government access channel, Mediacom Channel 23, at 8:30 p.m. tonight; 3 p.m. Friday, May 1; and 4:30 p.m., Saturday, May 2." The meeting has already been posted at TV23. Click the "City Council link" from this page, then click the April 29, 2009 meeting link to view the meeting in its entirety.
Mayor Jim O'Neal outlined the process of selection. He said each Council member should form questions to be asked of the top three candidates, and submit the questions to City Clerk Brenda Cirtin's office. Then he, the City Clerk and the City Manager will go over the questions looking for commonalities, one assumes, so that the same question(s) will not be repeated.
Each Council member will vote for their top 4 picks from among the 9 candidates and turn their choices in by noon on Friday. After tallied, the top 3 candidates will be chosen from those 4. The Council will vote from among those 3 top candidates at the upcoming City Council meeting on May 4, after the Council's questions are asked of each of the 3 candidates. That meeting will start at 6 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m., to accommodate for the questioning and action of the Council on that issue.
It will require 5 votes for a candidate to be approved for the seat. If no candidate receives the required 5 votes, the candidate scoring the least votes from among the three will be eliminated from the contest, and a new vote will be taken from among the top two. It is unclear what will transpire if each of those two, remaining candidates were to receive 4 votes each from the Council. Without the Zone 3 Council member, there is an even number of voting members remaining. In total, eight members will approve the candidate.
The candidate who wins the seat will be sworn on May 18, at the following Monday night, scheduled Council meeting. Mayor O'Neal wanted to allow the new Council member time to advise and include family and friends at the ceremony. O'Neal suggested, however, the new member will be expected to get right to work after his approval at the meeting on May 4.
Most of this information is available to the public through City news releases. If you would like to receive them, you can subscribe to them at the City's Web site.