Following the sudden resignation of Herb Atchison as mayor of Westminster on May 3, Anita Seitz has become acting mayor.
A May 4 statement from the city said the appointment of Seitz, former mayor pro tem, is in accordance with the city charter. In an email, Seitz said, “While I had no way of knowing that we would be in this circumstance when I was selected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in 2018, I took that role understanding that the City Charter requires that the Mayor Pro Tem assumes the duties of Mayor should the position become vacant."
Seitz will be officially sworn in Monday, May 10 and will be mayor until November, when the municipal election is scheduled. Seitz is also running for mayor in November against Nancy McNally and Austin Watts. In November, Seitz said, “I look forward to being elected to a four-year term in the position.”
The acting mayor also explained that she will technically take on Atchison’s term that was set to expire in November. Meaning, if she doesn't win the mayoral election in November, she will no longer be on city council.
Once Seitz is sworn in, her seat on council — which has 2.5 years left of its term — will become vacant. Council will have 30 days after May 10 to fill it. There will be an open application period for members of the community and council will interview the applicants and then appoint a new councilor in early June, explained city spokesman Ryan Hegreness.
Atchison’s announcement followed the city clerk's recount of recall petitions that found a sufficient number of signatures to trigger recall elections for Atchison and Councilor Jon Voelz. Seitz and Councilor Kathryn Skulley were also the focus of recall campaigns, but their petitions didn’t contain enough valid signatures to trigger recall elections for them.
Atchison said in an email on May 4 that, “the recall has nothing to do with this.” He said his decision was based off the advice of his physician, but he didn't offer additional details..
Seitz said in an email Tuesday morning, “I assume the duties of Mayor knowing that there is much that can divide our community, but I believe there is so much more that brings us together.”
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