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Soon-to-be vacant seat in limbo; Danville council could tap someone to fill spot temporarily, leave it up to court or wait for special election

Soon-to-be vacant seat in limbo; Danville council could tap someone to fill spot temporarily, leave it up to court or wait for special election


Danville City Council members are not sure whether they will quickly appoint someone to temporarily replace outgoing councilman Adam Tomer.

Regardless of what council decides, a special election will be held during the general election in November to determine who will serve the remainder of Tomer's term that ends June 30, 2022. 

"Council has 45 days [after Tomer officially vacates his seat June 30] to make an appointment if they so choose," said City Attorney Clarke Whitfield. "They are not required to appoint anybody."

Tomer resigned from his position on Danville City Council in late May, saying in a statement that he has accepted a job elsewhere that will not allow him “the time or ability to serve the citizens of Danville.”

Should council opt not to appoint anyone, it would be left up to Danville Circuit Court. But the court doesn't have to pick anyone, either, Whitfield said. 

If someone is appointed, that person would be an interim member until a special election is held and could run to keep their seat if they choose, Whitfield said.

Council would need to authorize the city attorney to file for a special election to be held in November. 

Council members will meet July 2 to determine what their next step will be. 

Mayor Alonzo Jones said he plans to present options to council during that meeting, including either appointing someone before the 45-day deadline in mid-August, placing an advertisement seeking applications from anyone wanting to fill the vacancy or selecting no one and waiting until November to let the voters decide. 

Jones said he would also listen to options from other council members. 

"After that meeting, we'll have a consensus on what the majority would like to do moving forward," Jones said. 

Council can appoint someone without taking applications, Whitfield said. 

City Councilman Gary Miller said council should select someone instead of having the court decide. 

"I prefer to appoint someone now," Miller said Monday, adding that he wouldn't want to burden the circuit court with the decision. 

Councilman Fred Shanks, who ran for re-election and lost last month, has expressed interest in being Tomer's replacement. 

Shanks will officially leave his seat June 30 and be replaced by Barry Mayo, who won last month. 

Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.

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