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Council vacancy declared; candidates invited to submit letters of interest to mayor

Apr 19, 2017 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

A vacancy officially was declared Tuesday for the Ward 2 Riverton City Council seat that belonged to Lee Martinez until his death April 7.

The council outlined the process to find his replacement during a regular meeting Tuesday.

Term ended 2018

Martinez, a longtime, community member and representative in numerous organizations, was serving a council term that ends in 2018.

Doctors had removed a tumor from his brain Dec. 31 after he unexpectedly suffered deteriorating health.

Plans for treatment had begun soon afterward, but in March Martinez once again was hospitalized, this time at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, where he learned he cancer had worsened.

"We'll miss his influence and impact to the city of Riverton," Mayor Lars Baker said Tuesday.

Replacement process

Now, the Ward 2 seat, which covers the area west of North Federal Boulevard up to North Eighth Street West, needs a representative.

Council member Holly Jibben is the other Ward 2 representative.

Adults who live in that area can submit a letter of interest to Baker at City Hall, 816 N. Federal Blvd.

"We need a good, solid person to step up and fill in," Baker said.

Interviews of candidates will be done in an open public forum followed by an executive session that will allow council members to review the interviews.

Then, the mayor and council will come out of executive session to take a secret-ballot vote.

After making a motion to confirm the selection, the new council member will be sworn in immediately.

The individual selected will be expected to serve until the next election in 2018, when the seat will be up for election.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, U.S. citizens, residents of the ward, and registered voters. Council members cannot be convicted felons.

The city will advertise the vacancy.

Reappointments

Baker proceeded to fill in committee positions formerly held by Martinez.

He appointed Councilman Sean Peterson to the Fremont County School District 25 Recreation Board.

The recreation board awards more than $100,000 in grant funding to local organizations and events each year from money generated by the 1-mill recreation levy for school districts authorized by state legislation.

"Thank you for your willingness to serve," Baker said to Peterson.

"Your obvious involvement in recreation in Riverton makes that a great choice for you."

Peterson will no longer serve on the city's finance committee. Instead, Baker said, Councilman Mike Bailey will take over that seat.

"We can give everybody a chance to learn how the books work and then move on to something else," Baker said.

Martinez also was a voting delegate for meetings of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities. The delegate attends meetings, represents Riverton, conducts any lobbying that may be needed, and votes on behalf of the council and city.

Baker offered to be the delegate and attend the next WAM convention in June. A motion was made to appoint Baker to the position, and the council approved.
 

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