Sat, April 04

Short-handed city council to decide its future

The Cottonwood City Council is scheduled to adopt its proposed $73 million tentative budget Tuesday evening. Even though a public hearing is set on the proposed budget at the 6 p.m. meeting, the council will be a little thin.

Four council members are scheduled to accept the resignations of the other three council members, Jesse Dowling, Tim Elinski and Randy Garrison. Dowling must step down because of his move to a different residence in Clarkdale, out of Cottonwood's City Limits. Elinski and Garrison were required to step down before their terms expired at the time they filed petitions to run for a different office. Elinski is running as a Mayoral candidate. Garrison is campaigning for Yavapai Supervisor.

The sparse remaining council must then decide how to fill the seats. Dowling was in his final year of his term and so his term will be filled in natural order in the approaching election.

The seats of Garrison and Elinski are more difficult. Their terms actually expire in one year, in May of 2017. But because the legislature, last year, changed the state law requiring municipalities to elect councilmembers with the fall election (August and September) elections along with state electors, rather than the former March and May timeframe as they had been. But, to complicate things further, local councilmembers may only hold an election in an even-numbered year (according to the legislation). That would mean a council election for their terms could not be held until the fall of 2018.

It is up to the council to decide, but, what that is likely to happen is that the remaining council likely will have to appoint interim council members to serve for two and a half full years until an election can be held.

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