Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 7:00 pm | Overcast 61º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Solvang Council to Meet Friday Night In Latest Attempt to Fill Empty Seat

Another meeting filled with a series of deadlocked votes and failed motions means the Solvang City Council will gather at 6 p.m. Friday to again try to fill its vacant seat.

Tuesday’s meeting included more divided votes as the council grapples with how to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Hans Duus, who moved to Santa Maria. 

The council has until Oct. 27 to either fill the seat by appointment or call a special election, which would cost between $6,000 and $28,800.

But the four remaining council members have split — Mayor Jim Richardson and Councilwoman Joan Jamison against Councilmen Ryan Toussaint and Neill Zimmerman — on whether to follow a previously adopted protocol to appoint the runner-up in the most recent election.

The other alternative would involve soliciting applications from candidates.

The runner-up from the November 2016 election, Karen Waite, just missed winning a seat by a handful of votes, and has said she would still like the job. 

Several speakers urged the council to “do the right thing” and supported following the protocol. 

“This whole issue to me is not about a person or a group of people,” Duus said. “It’s about a principle, a protocol, a policy, whatever you want to call it. It’s about good government.”

One resident, Shirley Stacy, suggested having an experienced outsider interview candidates and select a finalist to end the stalemate.

But it wasn’t clear how the divided council would agree on an impartial person to recommend someone from the field of interested candidates.

Motions to follow the existing protocol, to take applications or solicit candidates from planning commission, parks and recreation commission or the board of architectural review all failed.

“I’ll make the motion to draw from a hat,” Councilman Neill Zimmerman said at one point, not clarifying what names would be included in that drawing.

“Is there a second to the motion that we draw an applicant from the hat,” Mayor Jim Richardson asked. “There is no second to that motion. That motion fails.”

Friday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in council chambers, 1644 Oak St.

A regularly scheduled meeting is planned for 6:30 p.m. Monday and also will include an agenda item about filling the vacancy in case Friday's effort ends with a stalemate.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >