Parker Town Council will have two vacant seats starting Dec. 14 — one existing now due to a resignation and one starting then as a member leaves for the mayoral post — and it is possible each …
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Parker Town Council will have two vacant seats starting Dec. 14 — one existing now due to a resignation and one starting then as a member leaves for the mayoral post — and it is possible each replacement will be chosen differently.
When that mid-December date rolls around, Parker will be left with four sitting town councilmembers. The town charter calls for a full council to have six members. Council votes on items presented to them by town staff, and the mayor splits tiebreaker situations.
There are two methods for choosing a replacement for an open town council vacancy: appointment by council or through a special election.
To appoint a replacement, the remaining members of council must approve a candidate in no more than 30 days, no fewer than 10 days, from when the seat is officially made vacant. A councilmember appointment requires a two-thirds vote from town council, or four “yea” votes. If council cannot agree on a replacement, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat.
Council then has 90 days (120 days from the official vacancy) to determine the date of the special election. Per Colorado election laws, an elected candidate can be sworn in as soon as the next regular meeting, no later than 30 days after the election.
Parker will hold at least one special election, likely this spring, to decide an interim replacement to fill the seat of former Councilmember Renee Williams. Williams resigned officially Sept. 21, citing personal reasons. The remaining five councilmembers, needing at least four “yea” votes, failed to appoint a replacement within 30 days, and, per Parker's municipal code, the seat must be decided in a special election.
During the Nov. 9 town council study session, town staff proposed to hold the special election April 20. A resolution to approve that date will be on the Dec. 7 town council regular meeting agenda. The elected candidate would likely be sworn in in May or June.
A second seat will open once Councilmember Jeff Toborg, the mayor-elect, officially resigns and takes his new oath of office Dec. 14. The process to appoint a replacement begins all over again, except the decision would need to be unanimous from the remaining four councilmembers.
Four councilmembers constitute a quorum in Parker, which means at least four councilmembers must be present in order to hold an official town council meeting.
Town council could decide on Toborg's replacement at the Jan. 4 meeting. If no appointment is made, both vacant seats on council would be subject to the April 20 special election.
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