The Times West Virginian

Local News

July 2, 2014

Fairmont is filling vacant seat on council

Letters, resumes for position formerly held by Garcia will be accepted until July 16

FAIRMONT — Letters of interest and resumes for the now-vacant 7th District Fairmont City Council seat will be accepted for the next two weeks, from today at 8:30 a.m. through Wednesday, July 16, at noon.

Letters of intent and resumes should be submitted to Janet Keller, Fairmont City Clerk, Third Floor, Room 312, 200 Jackson St., J. Harper Meredith Building, Fairmont, WV 26554.

Robert Garcia submitted his letter of resignation to the city at the end of the day Monday, citing “circumstances beyond his control.”

“Then the council will be sent the applications along with the agenda for the July 22 council meeting,” Janet Keller, Fairmont city clerk, said.

The city council will hold a special session at 5 p.m. July 22, prior to the regular council meeting. Candidates will be interviewed by current council members during executive session. Council will reconvene to announce its decision; a motion will be made for the appointment of the candidate, and vote will be held on that candidate.

During the regular city council meeting at 7 p.m., the successful candidate will take the oath of office and take the seat, acting in the new position as the 7th District council member.

The process will work in the same fashion as the appointment of Frank Yann to the 2nd District seat in May, after Travis Blosser’s resignation. Blosser resigned in April, citing a heavy work load with his combined responsibilities from his position as assistant city manager in Shinnston in Harrison County, and as a full-time college student.

The new council member will serve for the unexpired term, until the completion of the canvass at the election this November. Yann will also serve until that time.

If either Yann or the 7th District council member wanted to continue to represent their district, they would need to file to run for council. Filing for council positions is open from Monday, July 7 through Aug. 6. Candidates must come to file in person to the City Clerk’s Office on the third floor of the J. Harper Meredith Building, and bring an ID and the $15 filing fee. Elections will be held for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th Districts.

The 7th District includes both sides of Fairmont Avenue between Seventh Street and Ninth Street, Park Drive, South Park Drive, Sunset Drive, Overhill Road and Peacock Lane to the left going up Sands Drive, as well as the upper side of Locust Avenue between East Garden Lane and Circle Drive, Morningstar Lane, Woodland Crescent, Village Way, and from Bell Run Road to the right side of Broadview Avenue.

For more information on applying, or to confirm whether or not you are located in the 7th District, contact Keller at 304-366-6211 ext. 329.

According to city charter, council has 30 days to appoint a qualified candidate to fill the seat, or a special election will need to be held to fill the position through the November canvass.

Garcia was first elected to Fairmont City Council in 2008, and was re-elected in 2012. He served as deputy mayor from Jan. 11, 2011 to Jan. 8, 2013.

“He’s always had the citizens’ interests at heart, and he’s always wanted to do right for the community,” Keller said. “We do want to thank him for his years of service to Fairmont and its citizens.”

Fairmont Mayor Ron Straight agreed.

“He’s been very instrumental in a lot of things that are going on, and I hate to see him go,” Straight said.

Straight also encouraged any qualified voters in the 7th District to apply for the position.

“It takes a lot of time,” Straight said. “Everybody in that district, if you feel that you can get in and serve, take the time.”

Email Colleen S. Good at cgood@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.

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