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Council needs seventh member

By Staff | Jul 26, 2010

It is easy to read the frustration on the face of Blue Earth City Councilman Glenn Gaylord.

He tried to explain his reasons for wanting the rest of the council to vote for his motion to fill the seat left vacant with the death of Dick Maher.

We agree with his thoughts. Why would the council fill one vacant seat – and not another?

One was created with an untimely death, the other when a councilman moved from one Ward to another.

No matter whether they were filled by council appointment or not, both seats were going to have to be up for election in November.

Somehow, filling one position and not the other does not make any sense. Worse, it seems to be a slap in the face of the residents of the First Ward.

The council filled the empty Rick Scholtes seat by interviewing applicants and choosing Paula Kelly.

But, they stubbornly have refused to use the same process to fill Maher’s chair.

The vote last Monday was three to three – a tie. Unfortunately, a tie means it does not pass.

Councilmen Dan Brod, Les Wiborg and John Huisman voted no. One can only speculate as to their reasons.

Perhaps they felt it was too late to do something, as the filing period for city council positions is only weeks away. They could be reasoning that the seat will be filled soon enough, with an election looming.

However, whoever is elected does not officially take office until January – nearly a half year away.

Between now and then the council will be looking at some tough decisions, including many dealing with next year’s budget.

One would think that their 3-3 tie vote would have been a wake up call to the council proving they need a seventh member on the council, in order to avoid this situation.

Or, is that exactly what some members of the council wanted?