If the mayor and current council choose to fill the vacant council seat before the general election, this could send a message to the voters that they are seeking political advantage. No decision should be made that would give the present mayor any potential leverage in the general election in May. Such an action of the council would just be another reason for the voters to seek a change in the administration of Town Hall in this election.
The mayor and council have really only two choices that would be ethically sound to please the general public: 1. Appoint the council candidate with the highest votes in the primary election, or 2. Let the new council select the candidate with the highest number of votes who wasn't elected in the general election.
If the mayor and current council do not choose one of these two options, then the voters must vote for a change in leadership.
Bill Michaelis, Payson