Of course not. The old council member succession rule required an actual voter election if there was still a lot of time left in an unexpired term.
But the local establishment/booster crowd went absolutely bananas in outrage when David Gordon had the temerity to actually beat their big choice with the voters, businessman Bill Wiggins. So a year later they went out of their way to immediately seek a gigantic change in the rules.
Now the remaining city council members get to pick the successor no matter what. And you just know it won’t be a dissident-questioner kind of guy like Dr. Gordon.
This is not the first vacancy of an elected office that the City Council has needed to act upon. How the Council handled past vacancies was dictated by the Charter requirements in effect at the time of the vacancy.
For example, in February 2002, Mr. Kramer’s resignation from the Council caused a vacancy. The City Council had 30 days to appoint someone to the position. The Council advertised the position and held interviews in open session and appointed Mr. Vander Borght to serve out the remaining term through May 1, 2003. When Ms. Murphy resigned from Council in 2005 with nearly 4 years remaining on her term, her seat was filled by a special election. In 2005, the Charter required that if 16 months or more remained on the term, then a special election had to be called to fill the position rather than the Council making an appointment.
Think there will be “interviews in open session” like before? If Rogers was still around and it was for someone else’s slot, maybe. Keep in mind too that with less than a year left in his term the old Charter rule wouldn’t have applied to his vacancy anyway.
But if Will had retired a year ago like he should have, and didn’t try to stick around for their big life insurance payout as he did, it would have.
Btw … note how in their example above staff makes no mention of David Gordon as a successor? Vander Borght, sure.
Instead of mentioning who the voters’ choice was in 2006, they just refer to it as a “special election”(!)