Six people apply for vacant seat on Chelsea City Council; interviews planned for June 19
Lisa Allmendinger | AnnArbor.com
Jerry Hayes, Charles Burgess, Paul Wiklanski, Marcia Parker, Palmer Morrel-Samuels and Warren McArthur submitted applications for the seat that was vacated by Bill Holmberg, according to information from Clerk Terri Royal.
Bill Holmberg resigned last month -- citing job obligations and a move outside the city limits -- leaving a vacant seat on the seven-person elected council.
Burgess is a former Sylvan Township supervisor who had to resign the elected position when Chelsea became a city and his home became part of the new city limits.
Morrel-Samuels is a current DDA member, and Parker ran for office in the last City Council election, when Holmberg was re-elected. Last week, current council members discussed their desire to add new perspectives to the City Council, perhaps from other parts of town, since four of the seven live on the same street.
With Mayor Jason Lindauer and Council Members Rod Anderson, Ann Feeney and Frank Hammer all living on Washington Street, the council hopes that there will be strong candidates from other parts of town who apply for the open position.
Lindauer quipped to his Washington Street neighbors that he wasn't very good golfer, "but I can probably hit almost all of your homes with a nine iron.”
In addition, he said, “I don’t think anyone in this city wants lap dogs on this council with a something to zero vote,” on every issue.
However, they agreed, if the best candidate is someone who happens to live on Washington Street, that won’t deter them from choosing that person. Although, several members said they didn’t even want to know where the candidates lived. The process, they agreed, was about picking the person who would be the best fit on City Council to continue to move the city forward.
At a work session on the topic, they mulled questions they’d like to see the applicants answer during the June 19 interview date.
Candidate interviews are expected to last about 20 minutes each and include an opening statement from the applicants to be followed by a question-and-answer session. Each candidate will be interviewed separately and those applying will be asked not to attend other candidate’s sessions “out of courtesy,” so no one knows what questions they’ll be asked.
“I’m hoping that a phoenix will rise from the ashes,” Feeney said.
The new council member will be chosen by a majority vote, and the applicant’s term is expected to begin in July and expire in November 2015. City Council members are paid $50 per meeting and there are two meetings a month on the second and fourth Tuesdays, except in December, when there is just one meeting on the second Tuesday.