Short one elected rep the past month and a half, Wellington will soon have a six-member village council again.
Former councilman Jeff Hyde resigned near the end of September to move to Amherst to be closer to his family. Hyde initially planned to resign at the end of the year but decided to hang up his hat three months early.
The deadline to apply for the position was Monday at noon. Council spent a half hour in a special meeting that evening.
“It’s a very good pool,” said council president Guy Wells, surprised by the number of interested parties. “I wouldn’t be worried with any of these people.”
“It just is a really good sign for the health of our community,” he said. “It’s a sign of our good morale as a community.”
Council members will interview each candidate Wednesday night in one-on-one sessions.
“I’m not working from a checklist,” Wells said. “We’re going to be open to what people say and what they give us. Anyone who applied each in a different way could be a great councilperson.”
The last time the village had a vacancy to fill was when Wells joined the board 22 years ago. Mayor Barbara O’Keefe stepped in as mayor, leaving an open position.
But the process is much different this time around.
The village adopted a new charter five years ago in anticipation of the population surpassing 5,000.
According to Wellington’s charter, if an unexpired term has more than two years left the person elected by council to fill the position will serve until the next successor is elected at the next regular municipal election.
Hyde’s term ends in December 2017, meaning more than two years are left. That means whomever council selects to take his place will serve all of 2016, but would have to run and win next November to finish the unexpired term.
Wells said that provision might be something the charter review commission looks at because in this case the person would have to run twice in two years if they wanted to keep their seat on council.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.