Mayor discusses commission vacancy; interest indicators due Friday

One of the five chairs that comprise the Big Rapids City Commission is vacant, following the Nov. 7 Big Rapids municipal election. The city commission has 45 days to fill the vacancy. The city currently is accepting interest indicators from residents who would like to be considered to be appointed. Interest indicators are due to the city clerk’s office by Friday, Dec. 8. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

BIG RAPIDS – The window for residents to indicate their interest to serve as a Big Rapids City Commissioner is closing.

Mayor Tom Hogenson explained the ongoing process to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat on the city commission during the officials’ meeting on Monday night.

The vacancy occurred upon the outcome of the Nov. 6 municipal election, in which Hogenson, who had been serving as a city commissioner, won the mayoral election. Hogenson resigned as a city commissioner during the Nov. 20 meeting, prior to assuming the duties as mayor.

The city charter outlines officials have 45 days to appoint a resident to serve the remaining two years of that term, Hogenson said.

“The commission has settled on a mechanism, using the interest indicators we currently use when soliciting individuals to volunteer for various city boards and commissions,” he said.

Those interest indicators are available at the city clerk’s office, its Facebook page and website. To serve as a city commissioner, a resident must have lived in the city for one year and be a registered voter of the city.

Along with the interest indicators, residents are being asked to answer the following five questions:

• Why do you want to serve on the Big Rapids City Commission?

• Outline the skills and experience that would benefit you while serving as a City Commissioner?

• What do you feel are the greatest challenges facing the city at this time?

• How do you see Big Rapids five years from now?

• What city issues concern you the most?

Interest indicators are due to the city clerk’s office by Friday, Dec. 8, Hogenson said.

“We have received several (applicants), but would love to receive 27, if there’s that level of interest out there,” he said. “It’s really up to the individual, of course, to make a determination if they can spend the time and resources to do this and want to be considered.”

Hogenson said he and City Commissioners Lynn Anderson, Jonathan Eppley and Lorraine James should receive the submitted interest indicators early next week, and would like officials to review and be ready to make an appointment at their next meeting on Monday, Dec. 18.

“I would like for everyone to rank the interest indicators in order, similar to what you would do for a scholarship committee,” he said. “If there’s a clear decision made by just adding those up, we’ll go with it. If it isn’t clear, we’ll have to have a discussion and present things a little differently.”

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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