This morning, the race for District 1 officially begins, reviving a political season that ended just two weeks ago with a citywide election. Several people have already made their interest in the seat known, including at least two from the District 1 Advisory Board.
But the process is open to a lot of politics. Council members learned Friday that they can select whoever they want to sit on the screening board that reviews candidates and forwards names to the Council for a final vote. So it may not just be the DAB Carl Brewer selected and the Council confirmed vetting candidates — especially if several DAB members are in the running. And the Council doesn’t have to select from the people the screening committee forwards to them either. They can nominate whoever they want and the first candidate to get four votes wins.
That seems to bypass the petition requirement, but, in a meeting Friday, City Attorney Gary Rebenstorf said the Council can nominate whoever they want so long as they live in District 1 (as outlined in the map above). District 5 Council member Jeff Longwell suggested the council allow candidates to come to a Council meeting and give a short speech. Longwell said that worked well when he was on the Maize School Board. Other Council members agreed, indicating they’ll probably set a date to hear from candidates.
“It gives us an opportunity to understand where they’re coming from a little bit,” Longwell said.
A candidate could be voted on as soon as May 15.