Star Valley Seeks Applications For Two Council Seats

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Star Valley plans quick action to fill by April 15 two seats left vacant by the resignations of councilors Randy White and Mary Ann Kotelnicki.

The council on Tuesday, April 1 accepted the resignations and opted to fill the seats by council appointment rather than through a special election.

The council set an April 10 deadline for applications, with action expected at the April 15 council meeting. If the council doesn't fill a vacancy within 30 days, the county can call a special election to fill the seat.

White had resigned his council seat effective in March to run for the mayor's job.

Kotelnicki's term was due to expire in June, but she has missed most meetings for the past three months and submitted her resignation early, without explanation.

So the council appointment to fill White's seat will last for the two-year balance of his term, while the person selected to replace Kotelnicki will only serve until June, when the three councilors elected in the primary will take their seats.

Gary Coon, George Binney and Barbara Hartwell all won election outright in the primary, each earning about 25 percent of the vote. The only other candidate running, Nathalie Stroup, got 22 percent.

Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron urged anyone interested in serving on the council to come down to town hall and fill out an application and to submit any other material they'd like to support their bid for a council seat. Councilor Art Lloyd asked the council to "send a nice letter," to the resigning council members, to offer "some sort of recognition for the time they have spent."

Town Manager Vito Tedeschi noted that they would each get a plaque recognizing their service.

The council then tidied up the town ordinance on election of the mayor and vice mayor.

Voters in 2006 embraced a ballot measure that called for direct election of the mayor and council appointment of the vice mayor. However, the council had not previously changed the wording of the old ordinance -- which called for council appointment of the mayor. The council corrected the problem on Tuesday, declaring an "emergency" so that the new wording in the ordinance would take effect immediately.

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