Fremont council to select new council member through appointment process

The City Council on Tuesday decided that it will appoint its fifth council member from a field of applicants, avoiding the costs of a special election.

The council — comprised of new Mayor Bill Harrison, Anu Natarajan, Sue Chan and newcomer Vinnie Bacon — will fill the seat Harrison vacated after he was elected mayor last month.

Candidates for the job must submit their application to the office of City Clerk Nadine Nader by noon, Dec. 21. Nader said special council meeting for reviewing the applications has been tentatively scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., Jan. 9.

At that meeting, council members also will decide on the details of the interviewing process. They might select a candidate based on their discussions of the candidates; or they could rank the top three-to-five candidates and interview them later; or they could decide to interview all candidates.

Nader said if council members decide to interview candidates, their questions will be posed at a special council meeting tentatively scheduled at 6 p.m., Jan. 14. They then likely would select their top candidate at that meeting.

The selected council member would be sworn in at a Feb. 5 council meeting, Nader said.

It would be the third time in little more than three years that a new member was appointed to the council, rather than chosen in a special election. In 2010, Fremont council members appointed Dominic Dutra to replace Bob Wieckowski, who resigned from the council after being elected to the state Assembly. Earlier this year, Gus Morrison was appointed to sit on the council as mayor, replacing Mayor Bob Wasserman after he died late last year.

Each applicant must be a Fremont resident, Nader said. For more information, call 510-284-4060 or email cclerk@fremont.gov.

Chris DeBenedetti