In a communication to the full council, President Benjamin Lamb wrote, "it is our responsibility to select and appoint an individual to fill the seat she is vacating for the remainder of the current term to expire January 2018."
He intends to open up a submission period for letters of interest from citizens interested in serving out the final six months of Bullett's two-year term.
Bullett tendered her resignation effective July 1 because she has purchased a home outside of Massachusetts. She had wanted to give the council time to find a suitable candidate, believing the seat should not sit vacant for the rest of the year.
The council has taken different options in the past, including soliciting letters of interest, picking the individual who came in 10th place in the most recent election, and leaving the seat vacant. Mayor Richard Alcombright, for example, was selected to complete the term of his late father, longtime Councilor Daniel Alcombright. However, no attempt was made to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Councilor Clark Billings, which had occurred in August.
The city charter states that any vacancy "shall be filled" by council members and the council's own rules state that candidates can submit letters of interest and letters of endorsements may also be submitted.
Lamb will announce the opening of the submission period at Tuesday's City Council meeting with a deadline of July 3. Letters may be submitted in person to the city clerk's office.
Individuals who have submitted letters by the deadline will be able to make five-minute statements in support of their candidacy at the Tuesday, July 11, meeting of the City Council. Councilors will also be able to ask them "relevant questions."
The council will then discuss the candidates, make nominations and vote. The new councilor will take the oath of office and join the full council at the next meeting on July 25.
All of the seats on the City Council will be up for election on Nov. 7, so any appointment can only last until New Year's Day, with the mayor and City Council is sworn in for the next two-year term.
"My sincere thanks and well wishes go out to Councilor Bullett as she leaves the council, and my added thanks goes out to this council as we look to fill the seat being vacated as Councilor Bullett departs," Lamb wrote.
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