Heady wants open, deliberative process to replace Wilson

VERO BEACH  — City Councilman Brian Heady said Monday he will introduce a plan during Tuesday’s Council meeting to open the field for the seat left vacant by Charlie Wilson to anyone in the city who is eligible.

Wilson was removed from office after Circuit Court Judge Paul Kanarek ruled that he did not meet the eligibility requirements as laid out in the City Charter.  The Charter will now come into play in determining who gets the open seat. According to that document, it is up to the City Council to decide how best to replace Wilson. The Council could take a vote as early as Tuesday to fill the seat, but Heady wants to slow the process down to make sure anyone interested gets a chance to be heard.

“I have some ideas in mind for the kind of person I would like to see, but for me the procedure is important,” Heady said.

Heady wants to allow interested voters to up until around the Dec. 21 to apply and then be approved by City Clerk Tammy Vock that they are eligible for office.  Heady then wants an open discussion of the candidates at the first meeting in January with a successor to be selected at that time.

“Clearly there are a lot of people who bring a lot of things,” Heady said. “I want to get as many applicants as who are interested. I don’t want to restrict this to just those who ran in the last election, though I don’t want to eliminate them either.”

Mayor Kevin Sawnick said Monday that he would like to take applications and review resumes to choose the most qualified candidate, very much like the city does in selecting representatives to boards and committees.

He added that he is not considering anyone in particular to fill Wilson’s seat.

Wilson and Heady beat out a field that included Ken Daige, Debra Fromang, Bill Fish, Susan Viviano, and Jack Shupe.

Former councilman Fish said that he has no interest in returning to the dais due to his full-time job. Candidate Shupe, however, said that he would like to serve on the council.

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