By Naomi Hatch
Stuart Hensley was appointed to the Snowflake Town Council Nov. 27, filling the vacancy created by the recent resignation of Councilwoman Lorri Davis.
Recently Kerry Ballard was appointed to fill the seat held by the late Larry Matyas, and because they had other applicants at that time, Town Manager Paul Watson said he felt this could be treated like filling an em-ployee vacancy and did not re-advertise the vacancy.
Mayor Kelly Willis said that the only previous applicant expressing interest in Davis’ vacant position was Hensley, and he felt he should be appointed.
“I think we need to wait until we have an opportunity to talk to other people,” said Vice Mayor Jason Whit-ing. He noted that he had calls from others interested in the position and he thought they would follow the same procedure previously used.
“This part of the process is purely a political process,” said Town Attorney Robert Hall, explaining that there is not a required process for appointment and as long as the council doesn’t violate law, it can decide how the vacant seat will be filled.
“I’m good to go tonight,” said Mayor Willis.
“I feel like we’ve had exceptional people apply and because elections are coming up real soon, the other people can run for election,” said Councilwoman Bev Kay.
Vice Mayor Whiting moved to table the appointment so that people who took out candidate packets and people who submitted letters of interest last time could be contacted to see if they are interested.
After discussion, Mayor Willis stated, “My feeling is we’re just prolonging it. I think we can seat somebody tonight.” He then asked the vice mayor if he was willing to pull his motion.
Whiting said he was not, but the motion failed in a 4-2 vote with the vice mayor and Councilman Chris Brimhall voting in favor of tabling the appointment.
“Taking Jason’s thoughts into consideration, my personal feeling is, it wasn’t three weeks ago we had a seat open, we filled it, we advertised in the paper for anyone interested, we had several come forward at that time and immediately following, we had another seat open,” said the mayor.
Willis noted that if Hensley was appointed at this meeting, he would be required soon to file for the 2013 election.
A motion to appoint Hensley to fill the seat vacated by Davis passed unanimously.
Five council seats will be filled in the 2013 election. Candidate packets are now available at town hall and must be filed by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
By Naomi Hatch