ROSSFORD – The City Council’s organizational meeting turned contentious over the issue of who will fill a vacancy caused by the sudden death of a newly re-elected councilman.
Chuck Duricek died Thursday while on a family trip to Chicago.
After his own re-election as council president, Larry Oberdorf recommended that council fill the vacancy by seeking applicants and interviewing them with council then making a decision. This was done to fill the most recent vacancies. The other option was to appoint the next highest candidate in the six-way race for four seats. That would be Robert Densic.
If council does not act within 30 days, it would be up to Mayor Neil MacKinnon to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
Two councilmen, Greg Marquette and Dan Wagner, one of the candidates who outpolled Densic, spoke in favor of appointing Densic, since he had campaigned for the job.
Others who wanted to sit on council should have run for the seat, Wagner said.
Council voted 4-2 to seek applicants with Marquette and Wagner dissenting.
After the vote was taken, Oberdorf said he would resign as council president. “I see council as very fragmented. Someone else can have this position.”
After the meeting, Duricek’s widow Pam Duricek said she had attended to speak in favor of Densic being appointed, but there was no opportunity for the public to speak at the meeting.
She said Densic was “a smart and talented person who does his research.”
“He had a passion for it like Chuck did.”
Densic, who attended the meeting, said he was undecided whether to apply to fill the vacancy.
Council meets again in regular session Dec. 9.