MORRISVILLE — The Town Council expects to fill a vacant seat on the board in March.
Council members said it was important to appoint someone as soon as possible to the seat, which was left open when former Councilman Mark Stohlman was elected mayor last fall.
“We want to get the new member in a position where they can participate in a budget discussion, which is one of the most important things we do all year,” Stohlman said.
The council wants to make a decision by March 11 and have the new member sworn in on March 25.
“That’s really to give the person some time to soak in what’s happened to them and get prepared for it,” Stohlman said.
Fifteen people applied for the seat. Council members are expected to meet with each of them individually in the coming days to whittle down the list by about half on Feb.11.
The council will use the same process it used to reduce the list of candidates for the Blue Ribbon Commission, which focuses on transportation.
Each council member will get six votes. The top vote-getters will move on for further consideration.
It may take multiple rounds of voting, but the council hopes to get the list down to about seven or eight candidates.
At a specially called workshop on Feb. 13, the remaining candidates will get a chance to make a presentation to the council and answer a few questions.
“I think the best compromise would be having a hybrid approach with three questions we ask every candidate as a baseline and then can do follow-up questions,” said council member Vicki Scroggins-Johnson.
Councilwoman Liz Johnson wanted to develop some kind of cohesive criteria to judge the candidates, but in the end the council decided it was a subjective exercise. Each council member has his or her own opinion of what makes a good elected official.
“We have some talented folks that have applied,” Johnson said. “I’m afraid we will wind up with a pool wider than half.”
Several of the candidates have served on the Morrisville council in the past or have run unsuccessfully for a council seat. Most serve on town committees or volunteer with local organizations.
After the Feb. 13 meeting, the council will select about three or four finalists.
All the meetings in which applicants will be are interviewed are open to the public.
To be considered for the job, applicants must live in Morrisville and be a registered voter.
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