by Rick Langenberg:
In the wake of the resignation of David Turley, the mayor of Woodland Park since April 2012, city officials and leaders have finalized the process for picking a replacement.
A special council meeting will be held in mid-August that will determine the position of the Woodland Park mayor, who often serves as the head local ambassador for a variety of ceremonies and dedications and runs regular meetings. As of press time, no date was finalized. A mayoral decision must be made prior to Aug. 14, based on the city’s charter requirements.
According to the city’s website, the council was scheduled to make a decision at its regular meeting on Aug. 7. But the council, at the recommendation of City Manager David Buttery, last week opted to do this appointment at a special meeting, which will be held on one of the three possible dates: Aug. 11,12 or 13.
The final mayoral appointee will serve in this position until the remainder of Turley’s term, which expires in April 2016.
And already, one elected leader, Councilman Gary Brovetto, a key leader of the Main Street program, has jumped into the competition and submitted a letter of interest. However, according to sources, the competition could be quite keen for this seat. In fact, the candidate interest in these types of appointments is much higher than for running for council and mayoral seats during regular elections. During this appointment process, applicants make brief presentations before the council and are asked a slew of questions.
The final decision will be made by the city council through a paper ballot process and the person selected must receive the majority of the council votes by the members present that evening.
Applicants must send letters of interest by noon on August 1. Letters should be sent, via e-mail to the deputy city clerk: sleclercq@city-woodlandpar
The mayoral pick comes following the resignation of Turley, who faces charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. In his July 14 resignation letter, he maintained he is innocent of these charges. He conceded, however, that these allegations were becoming a distraction for city leaders and officials. At virtually every function he attended and during court hearings, Turley was bombarded by television news crews.
This appointment process could rank as one of the most important that town leaders have conducted for some time. Although the selected mayor would only fulfill a term for the next year and a half, the mayoral appointee would gain a competitive edge during the following 2016 election.
Although the appointment process is not an unusual procedure, in recent memory, the council has never grappled with the appointment of a mayor.
The only question that remains though, is if several contenders apply who are current council members. Councilman Bob Carlsen noted that the town’s charter only permits two appointments per year. He suggested that this restriction may present a problem, especially if leaders have to make subsequent council appointments. City Manager David Buttery vowed to review this situation in more detail.
Besides grappling with the selection of a new mayor, the council must also finalize a ballot question for the November election. This measure would allow the city to incur debt for the construction of a new aquatic center, Memorial Park improvements and would foot the bill for a new maintenance facility.