Election set for vacant seat on Westminster council

Liam Adams
ladams@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/21/21

Westminster voters will select someone to fill a vacant seat on council at the same time they select other council members, the Nov. 2 municipal election. At a June 14 meeting, Westminster City …

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Election set for vacant seat on Westminster council

Posted

Westminster voters will select someone to fill a vacant seat on council at the same time they select other council members, the Nov. 2 municipal election.

At a June 14 meeting, Westminster City Council approved a resolution to schedule a special election to happen during the regular election. The need to schedule a special election arose from the council’s inability to appoint a finalist to the vacant seat.

In early May, former Mayor Herb Atchison resigned. Anita Seitz, who was then mayor pro tem, took the post and thereby took on Atchison’s term. Meanwhile, the seat Seitz vacated has two-plus years left of its term, set to expire in November 2023.

In late May and early June, the council sought to fill the vacancy through an application process that ultimately produced eight finalists. The finalists interviewed with councilors at a June 1 meeting. Finally, the council voted 99 times to choose one of the finalists at a June 7 meeting..

Council never reached a consensus on a finalist and a 30-day window that council was allowed to make an appointment, per the city charter, closed. As a result, the city charter requires that voters make the choice in a special election. The charter also said that because of the timing, the special election needs to happen with the general election.

Before the vacancy snafu, voters would have had to choose candidates to fill three at-large council seats. Now, voters will choose candidates for four seats. Because every council seat in Westminster is at-large, all the candidates will share the same ticket.

The three highest vote-getting candidates will be elected to the regular council seats, which will be four-year terms. The fourth highest vote-getting candidate will be elected to the vacant seat, which at that point will have two years left of its term.

Currently, seven people have submitted candidate affidavits to run for council in November. Separately, there will be a mayoral election in November. Three candidates have submitted candidate affidavits for that so far.

Contractor secured for recall election

Aside from the November election, there will be a recall election for Councilor Jon Voelz on July 20. Voters are asked to vote for or against recalling Voelz. The ballot will also ask voters to select a candidate to replace Voelz if he is recalled. One candidate is running to succeed Voelz, Kathleen Dodaro.

At a June 14 meeting, the council approved a contract with a firm, Community Resource Services of Colorado, LLC, (CRSC) to run the recall election. It will cost the city up to $250,000 to pay CRSC.

The city will not need to spend previously unbudgeted dollars on the November election because county governments coordinate that.

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