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Lisbon Council debates filling soon-to-be empty seat

LISBON –When to fill mayor-elect Peter Wilson’s soon-to-be vacant seat on village council was debated at this past week’s council meeting.

Wilson defeated Mayor Roger Gallo in the Nov. 5 election and is scheduled to take office Jan. 1. Gallo announced at the meeting he would like to begin taking applications to fill Wilson’s seat so council is in a position to name a replacement at its next meeting on Dec. 17. This person would serve out the remaining two years of Wilson’s council term.

Wilson immediately objected, saying he would prefer they wait until the new council is seated in January. Besides Wilson, the current council consists of Jerry Cox, Dawn Thomas, Tom Darcy, Jeff Snyder and Ryan Berg.

Snyder declined to seek re-election and Berg’s candidacy petitions were rejected by the county elections board. As a result, the new council will consist of Darcy, Cox, Thomas and newcomers Linda Donnalley and Susan Temple, who were unopposed in the recent election.

“I don’t know that it matters” when council names a replacement, Gallo said.

“I think it does matter,” Wilson replied, saying he believes it is only fair the new council make the decision.

“I think Susan and Linda have a right to decide,” he added.

Council then asked what was past practice and learned this exact scenario likely last occurred when Snyder was mayor and lost his re-election bid to councilman Mike Lewis. Officials believed that council waited until the new council was seated to name Lewis’ replacement.

According to the Village Officer’s Handbook posted on the state auditor’s website, council has 30 days to fill the vacancy once Wilson’s resignation has been “tendered,” and he does not intend to resign from council until Dec. 31.

Gallo said if it was a big deal council could decide.

“Either way its fine by me,” Darcy said.

“I don’t care,” Snyder said.

“I would prefer the incoming council make the appointment,” Wilson said.

Council finally decided to wait until January. Anyone interested in applying for Wilson’s council seat can do so by sending a letter of interest to fiscal officer Tracey Wonner, who serves as council clerk. The deadline is Dec. 31.

Wilson, who is relatively new to town, campaigned as the change candidate, whereas Gallo had served on council since 1994 before being elevated to mayor in 2018 following the resignation of Joe Morenz.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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