Council member resigns
May 10, 2013 · Jennifer Pandich
Mount Vernon City Council member Steve Maurice will not be finishing his first term, resigning his position in an email to the mayor, council, and city administrator Monday afternoon.
The council on Monday discussed filling the position, but made no decision.
Maurice was elected to a four-year term in 2011.
"For personal reasons I, Steven Maurice, do hereby resign, effective immediately, my elected position as Mount Vernon council person. I regret I will no longer able to represent the ideology of those constituents that elected me ...."
Maurice went on to comment on the current council: "You are a great, intelligent group of people however, I feel that you have somehow lost site [sic] of the true purpose of the original articles of incorporation which is to foremost, provide for the needs and services of its citizens and only then address the wants of the community."
He continued: "The paradigm, of the current day politics, that has been slowly growing at the national level of our government, has unfortunately embedded itself at the state and local levels and I can no longer allow myself to sit at a council chair espousing the obligations that our city has to the infrastructural needs that our citizens so intently want and deserve."
Because the resignation wasn't on the agenda, no action was taken Monday by the council.
Mayor Scott Peterson discussed the options available to the city has to replace Maurice. One option is that a new council member could be appointed, with nominations from either council members or the public. The other option would be for a special election to be held.
If the council decides to appoint a new member, a special election could be forced by a petition submitted by 10 percent of the people who voted in the last election. A special election would cost between $2,800 and $2,900. The issue must be resolved in 40 days.
Maurice suggested his seat be filled by appointment: "I ask that the mayor and/or the council appoint a temporary replacement for my seat and then place my vacancy on the ballot of the closest council election which will be held in November of this year 2013."
City administrator Mike Beimer said that the appointment would make the most sense fiscally, especially because the election is six months away. He also said he felt the temporary vacancy would best be filled by someone who did not want to run in the fall as to not provide anyone with unfair advantage.
Petitions to be placed on the ballot are available at city hall, which are then turned in between late mid August and mid September. The election will be held on the first Tuesday in November.