Kudos to the Clinton City Council for appointing Sean Connell this week to the at-large council seat vacated by former councilman Grant Wilke’s resignation from that position.
We weren’t sure if the council would get so far as to appoint a person to the post. That’s because at least one councilman has been vocal on his desire to have the position filled through a special election as opposed to appointment.
Keeping in mind that residents have the right to collect signatures and call for a special election, we hoped the council would fill the position through appointment knowing that councilman is inclined to pull that special election trigger himself.
That makes no sense to us. Not only was Wilke at the half-way point of his 4-year term when he resigned, but why spring for the cost of a special election, an estimated $8,000 tab that would have to be picked up by voters? That doesn’t take into account the possibility of a run-off election, which would ring up more costs, or the time such elections would take before the person would be in place.
We do know that people have wondered why those who sought the seat weren’t listed on the ballot in November. Actually, one of the two seeking Wilke’s seat through appointment was on the ballot — Judy Luett. But at that time she was trying to win the Ward 4 seat ultimately retained by Paul Gassman.
Wilke’s resignation didn’t come until Christmas Eve, effective Dec. 31, so that is a moot point when it comes to debating interest in the at-large position.
What we were glad to see was the interest in this position. Sure, there were others who put their names in for consideration then pulled back for various reasons, including throwing their support behind Connell but that just verifies our belief that council appointment is the right way to go.
We hope it sticks and that residents put their faith in the council’s decision by not signing a special election petition.
It just makes sense.