Council accepts Martin resignation

Discussion for how to fill vacancy to appear on next agenda

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Council  accepts  Martin resignationThe Ridgecrest City Council accepted the resignation of former Vice Mayor Wallace Martin during Wednesday evening’s regular meeting.

A public notice for the emergency addendum was released on Tuesday, allowing the members of the council to officially take action on an item that did not appear on the original agenda.

The resignation was unanimously accepted by the three members in attendance — Mayor Peggy Breeden, Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Stephens and Councilman Scott Hayman. Councilman Mike Mower was absent.

City attorney Lloyd Pilchen briefed councilmembers on their options for filling the vacancy — either appointing a replacement or approving a special election. (See related story, this page.) Because Martin was elected in November 2016, his term expires in November 2020.

Although the action elicited no discussion from the council, the topic arose again during public comment, when Scott Miller asked for clarification about how the process for filling the vacancy would work.

“I’m not sure what else I can say to elaborate. It’s either an appointment or special election,” said Pilchen. “That decision has not yet been made, so I’m not sure what other explanation to provide.”

Miller asked if the appointment would go to the next-highest votegetter on the 2016 ballot.

“I’m not aware of any restriction on the council’s ability to appoint,” said Pilchen.

Miller then asked if that meant that the council would decide who to choose in real time.

City Manager Ron Strand said that if the item is placed on the Dec. 4 agenda, council has the option of voting to accept applications, then choose a candidate at the second meeting in January.

“It’s entirely up to them,” said Strand. “Or it could go to a special election.”

Related story: news-ridgecrest.com/news/story.pl?id=0000010753. For additional council news, see next week’s edition.

Story First Published: 2019-11-22