Although five individuals were sworn in during last week’s Marco Island City Council meeting as then–Chairman Erik Brechnitz looked on, the newly seated council would be tasked with the duty of choosing one additional member to fill out the seven-member board. This was necessitated due to former Councilman Victor Rios’s resigning from the council at the end of October.
The newly convened council adopted a relatively expedited procedure that allows less than a one-week timetable for interested parties to submit applications for the two-year position. Because Rios delayed his resignation beyond the time period which would have allowed someone to file for that open seat and be elected during the November 3 election, sitting councilors now must appoint his successor.
The City Charter is clear in how to proceed.
- A vacancy on the Council shall be filled as follows:
(a) If a vacancy occurs and the remainder of the unexpired term is 28 months or less, the remaining Council Members shall, within sixty (60) days following the occurrence of such vacancy, by majority vote of the Council Members, appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(b) If the remainder of the unexpired term exceeds 28 months, the remaining Council Members shall, within sixty (60) days following the occurrence of such vacancy, by majority vote of the Council Members, appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the next regularly scheduled City election at which the balance of the term for the seat shall be filled in accordance with Article V.
Persons interested in filling that open spot are being required by the timetable set by the new council to have their applications submitted by Monday, November 16. A special city council meeting has been called for November 19 to have councilors select three finalists to be interviewed.
Councilors will then have between November 23 and December 4 to interview individually each of those candidates. The council will then take up the responsibility of choosing one of those three finalists at their meeting on December 7.
A similar situation occurred during the past year when former Councilman Sam Young resigned his seat and moved to the east coast of Florida. Greg Folley, Phares Heindl and Joseph Rola were chosen as the three finalists. Council chose Folley to fill that vacancy. Folley, in turn, filed his candidacy during the 2020 election cycle to run for the remaining two years of that term. He ran unopposed for that seat and was sworn in on November 3 with the other four candidates winning seats during the election.
Any person applying must be a registered voter and a permanent resident of Marco Island. Any questions should be referred to the City Clerk’s Office by calling 239-389-5000.