Redmond meeting

Redmond City Council meeting on Nov. 10, 2021.

Redmond Mayor George Endicott announced Tuesday night that there would be an application process for people interested in replacing Councilor Jon Bullock.

Ordinarily that would be no big deal. But taking the time to allow the public to apply to fill a vacancy is a welcome change for Redmond.

Bullock announced he was stepping down because of the requirements of his position on the Southern Oregon University board. Filling his position, though, is not necessarily simple.

Filling a vacancy for an elected position can tie people in knots.

Filling it with a quick appointment can more quickly fix possible problems. For instance, without Bullock there only will be six voting members of city government. It might be unlikely, but that could lead to 3-3 split votes and no decisions being made. Not good. It also takes time to get up to speed as a councilor. It’s a volunteer position that done right requires much more than volunteer hours. And it takes a lot of hours to build an understanding of the challenges and tools the city has and to also gather input from residents.

Taking longer to fill the position, creating an open process for people to apply and for the council to publicly interview candidates, has pluses, too. It’s more transparency in government. It reassures the public that even though they won’t get to vote on this person who will be making decisions about their community and their taxes, there is a public process that they could weigh in on.

When Mayor George Endicott moved fast to fill a council vacancy in 2020, the public had less than 12 hours from the time the public may have heard there was a vacancy until a new councilor was appointed. Endicott had his reasons for doing so. He felt constrained by a promise to a councilor who had told him in confidence in advance he would be leaving. He also wanted to fill the position quickly so a new councilor could be present for the detailed review of the city’s new budget.

Endicott and the council adhered to the city’s charter when making that very fast appointment. “Vacant elective offices in the City shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor,” the charter said. “A majority vote of the Council shall be required to approve the appointment.” And that is indeed what happened.

Still, the swift action behind the scenes and the lack of a more public process raised questions about how much public input there should be when there is a councilor vacancy in Redmond. Redmond residents deserve transparency in their government. We believe taking a few weeks to fill the vacancy, to allow the public to apply and even for the council to hold public interviews with candidates is the right approach.

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(2) comments

Transitory Inflation

'He also wanted to fill the position quickly so a new councilor could be present for the detailed review of the city’s new budget.'

LMAO That hand-picked councilor was an absolute neophyte and had no business near a municipal budget decision. Except for going along to get along of course.

69519

How can you write that article without noting that the unduly swift process last time was for Endicott to appoint his new wife to the position?

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