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Westmorland council vote unanimous on election

October 31, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

WESTMORLAND — After another failed attempt to fill a vacant City Council seat by appointment, the City Council here unanimously voted to pass a resolution that will place a special council election during regularly scheduled March elections.

The council was hoping to fill a seat left vacant by Thomas Marquez earlier this month.

Six candidates applied for the seat, but two withdrew their applications. Of the remaining four, two were clearly favored — Thomas Landrum and Martha Cruz.

In Tuesday's special meeting, the council was hoping to settle the matter and appoint someone to finish the remaining three years of the four-year term.

The council split votes again, as it had Oct. 17, ending its hopes of filling the seat by appointment. The city had a deadline of 30 days from the acceptance of Marquez's resignation to fill the vacancy by appointment. If that didn't occur, a special election would have to be set.

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Mayor Henry Halcon made it clear he did not favor a special election because of the expense.

City Attorney Mitch Driskill made it known to the council it could simply combine the special election with the March election and not have to pay for a second election.

Driskill said government code 36512 states a special election shall be held in the next regularly established election date not less than 114 days from the call of the special election.

The next elections after Nov. 6 voting will be March 5, which is more than 120 days.

For the March elections, four seats will be available. Two will be vacant seats, the one left by Thomas Marquez and the second left by councilman Rumaldo Marquez, who has stated he will not seek re-election.

The other two seats up for election will be those of Halcon and City Councilman John Makin. Both have stated they will seek re-election.

Those that applied for the vacant seat left by Thomas Marquez will have to re-apply for the March elections.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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