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Two ways to fill an open council seat

May 21, 2010 - Chuck Hunt
I hope the Blue Earth City Council story on the front page of this week's Register is clear. The City Council plans to appoint someone to the seat formerly held by Rick Scholtes, who resigned. However, they are going to wait until this coming November election to fill the empty seat left by the death of Dick Maher. I understand the theory. Scholtes still had more than two years left on his term, while Maher's term was up this year. But, (and here is where it gets confusing), the council actually had the same option in both cases. They could have chosen to appoint someone to Maher's seat, just like they did with Scholtes position. Either way, both of these council seats are going to be filled at this fall's election. If they appoint someone to Scholtes' seat, and appoint someone to Maher's seat, those two people will only serve until January 2011. That is when the person or persons elected in November will take over. Granted, that could be the same person. If the person appointed to fill out the term decides to file for the seat, he or she would stand for election in November, and need to be elected in order to continue in the position. Confused? It gets worse. I wonder why someone is not being appointed to fill out Maher's term. Especially when there is someone - who was present at last Monday's meeting as a spectator - ready, able and willing to take the job. That person is, of course, Rick Scholtes. Scholtes resigned from his Ward 3 seat because he has moved to a home in Ward 1. Maher was a Ward 1 councilman. Wouldn't it make sense to appoint Scholtes to fill out Maher's term for the next six months? Could you find anyone more qualified, who is up to date on what is happening on the council? No, you couldn't. Perhaps there is some other reason this is not being done. Something to do with politics, maybe. Whatever it is, I wonder if the Blue Earth City Council will reconsider their decision to wait to fill Maher's seat. Why not stay at full strength during these times of difficult decisions? Just a thought...


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