Boards will appoint Butler’s replacement

Grand Junction City Council and District 51 School Board members say they are not ready to discuss what will happen to the council and board seats vacated by the sudden passing of Harry Butler Sunday evening.

But when the time comes, state statute will help determine how those two vacancies will be filled.

Colorado Revised Statutes state that a board of education must declare a vacancy at the board’s next meeting after a board member dies. The remaining board members have 60 days from that meeting to appoint a person to the vacant seat, according to statute.

If the remaining four board members cannot reach a majority decision within 60 days, statute gives Board President Greg Mikolai the power to make the appointment, which will last through the end of Butler’s term in November.

The board’s next business meeting is scheduled for June 18, which will be the last date the board is scheduled to meet before a summer break over the month of July. A work session originally scheduled for June 4 was cancelled out of respect for Butler and his family and has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. this coming Tuesday at the Basil T. Knight Center.

State statute is less specific about the process for replacing a city council member. Both statutes and Grand Junction City Code say a vacancy must be filled by having remaining council members appoint a new councilor through majority vote.

Statute and code do not include a deadline for the appointment to be made or list an alternative appointment plan if the council reaches a tie.

When Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras was first appointed to the council in February 2010, council members revoted after hitting a 3-3 deadlock and reached a 4-2 vote.

The new council member must live in District E, according to city code, and the new school board member must live in District C.


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