Incumbent Town Council member Laurin Easthom says the current council should decide on a process for replacing Bill Strom soon and that process should include appointing the fifth-place finisher in November's election. If she happens to finish fifth out of eight candidates, though, she wouldn't seek appointment.
"I would want to be elected because I've done it before, so for me, it would be a loss if I wasn't in the top four," she said. "If there are not five seats on the ballot, then in my opinion, I didn't win my seat back on the council, and I don't think that the council should turn around and appoint me."
As a first-time candidate in 2005, Easthom led the field with 3,788 votes representing two-thirds of voters.
"Personally, I've got have the people choose me. I don't want to be appointed by a council," she said. "If I lost this time around, and then two years later there was a vacancy, I wouldn't put my name in."
Easthom said she would have preferred to have five people on the ballot, but Strom's resignation came too late for that.
"Having an agreement that the council appoint the fifth-place finisher seems OK to me," Easthom said. "My really true feeling and goal is that the citizens feel that they have put the fifth person in."
I'm contacting the other candidates to ask about their positions on the appointment process. Jim Merritt, who was appointed to replace the late Bill Thorpe last fall, said he'd have to get back to me later today about whether he'd take a second appointment should he finish fifth.
"I'd never thought of it in those terms because I plan to be first place," Merritt said with a laugh.