Six apply for open Town Council seat
Six Truckee residents have applied to fill the open Town Council seat vacated by Bob Drake, who stepped down May 31.
“We didn’t have that many candidates for the general election last time,” noted Steve Wright, town manager. Four candidates ran for two open seats in the November election.
In their meeting May 17, Truckee Town Council opted to make a special appointment to fill the unexpired term left by council member Bob Drake.
The candidates who had filed by the Monday deadline are Victor Anaya, a property manager and telecommunications specialist; Julie Cooley-Rieders, no occupation given; Michael Golden, real estate advisor; Ted Owens, contractor and a candidate for Town Council in last year’s election; Joel Quist, a local manufacturer, and Fred Zabell, owner of Alpine Mounting Systems.
“It’s a big group,” said Wright.
The only prerequisites for the position are that applicants must live in Truckee and be a registered voter.
In their meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, the council will consider the process by which they will fill the vacancy.
A vacancy has been filled by appointment twice before in the Town’s history, said Wright.
The council will consider using interview questions they used on past candidates, or drafting new questions if needed.
Council is not likely to choose a final candidate tonight, said Wright.
“I would expect that they’ll vote on the process by which they’ll select a candidate,” he said.
The council will probably set dates for future meetings to interview the candidates.
Current Town Council members said they hope to pick the best possible candidate.
“We’re looking for people that are committed and involved and dedicated to this community, like all of us,” said council member Josh Susman.
“Do they have a diverse enough background to be able to grasp the issues?” said councilwoman Maia Schneider. “Do they represent the people or are they pushing their own agenda? I’m really looking for somebody who doesn’t have a myopic vision but has a more broad way of looking at issues.”
Schneider said that while she would prefer a special election to fill the seat, she understands that cost and timing makes it impractical.
“In a perfect world I would always prefer that the people indicate a choice versus the body of four,” she said. “But I just think in terms of the cost of a special election, it’s extreme, and we just came through an election period.”
Truckee residents are encouraged to give the council their opinion of the candidates, she added.
“Hopefully they’ll give us some input,” said Schneider. “We’d like to see people at the meetings, we’d like to see some letters to the editor.”
Bob Drake will also be honored tonight in a special proclamation by Town Council. He was the last remaining of the original council formed after Truckee incorporated in 1993. Drake will receive a proclamation honoring his “selfless contributions to the Town of Truckee.”
Other items on the agenda for tonight’s Town Council meeting include a bid authorization for 2001 paving contract bids, a performance evaluation procedure for Town Manager Steve Wright and the creation of a summer engineering intern position.
Town Hall is located at 10183 Airport Road. For more information, call 582-7700.
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Power in Truckee and parts of Tahoe is scheduled to be turned off early Sunday due to extreme fire danger.