Clarkdale to begin process to fill town council vacancy

Clarkdale Town Council Member Ben Kramer, who had previously announced that he would decline to take the Oath of Office for his term that was slated to begin on November 13, 2018, has notified the Town of Clarkdale that he will resign from his current seat on the Town Council effective Sept. 25.

In his letter to the town, Kramer notes, “Strategic planning is a great chance to see the moving parts of the municipality and it was a great asset to be involved during my time on the Town Council. I am choosing to resign in order to allow the current Council to have time to appoint a new council member to my seat in time to participate in the strategic planning process. I believe this is in the best interests of the new council member, the Town Council, and the Town of Clarkdale.”

During the Sept. 25, meeting, the Clarkdale Town Council is scheduled to accept Kramer’s resignation and declare a vacancy on the council.

Arizona state law specifically identifies that the Town Council has the responsibility to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat. While State Statutes require the Town Council to make the appointment, neither the Clarkdale Town Code nor the Arizona Revised Statutes outline a specific process that the Council must use in deciding who should be appointed to the vacant seat.

The Town of Clarkdale has had a number of Council vacancies over the years, including most recently in 2017, 2012, 2005 and 2002. The first step in determining who will be selected to fill the vacancy is for the Council to meet and decide what process they will use to fill the vacant seat. That discussion is scheduled to take place at the Sept. 25 Town Council meeting, immediately following the declaration of the vacant seat.

While the town staff has had several inquiries about how the selection process will be handled, the specific details of the process that will be used, and any deadlines for interested parties to submit applications (if applicable), will not be known until the Town Council makes a decision at the Sept. 25 meeting.

The Town Council’s discussion of the selection process, and the ultimate determination of who will be appointed to the vacant seat, must be considered in an appropriately posted public meeting in accordance with the Arizona Open Meeting Law.

In addition to other required posting locations, the Town of Clarkdale posts its meeting agendas and Council packets (with staff reports and other background material) for the public’s review on the Town’s website by the Friday before the scheduled Council meeting.

The Sept. 25 meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the Men’s Lounge of the Clark Memorial Clubhouse, 19 N. 9th Street in Clarkdale.

The meeting is open to the public.

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