Grand Junction council will try to fill vacant seats

The five remaining members of the Grand Junction City Council are to gather for a special meeting tonight to choose a sixth member.

And in time, when that person is named, the six of them will pick a seventh councilor.

All that because of two openings created by last month’s death of council member Harry Butler and last week’s resignation of newly elected Councilor Rick Brainard, who was under pressure to resign because of a misdemeanor conviction on domestic violence charges.

Last week, the five remaining members decided to go ahead with a second round to replace the District E seat opening created when Butler unexpectedly died of natural causes on June 2.

Earlier this month, when Brainard was still on the council, the members deadlocked on a replacement for that seat.

At that time, council members Phyllis Norris, Marty Chazen and Mayor Sam Susuras voted for council candidate Duncan McArthur, while the remaining three, Brainard, Jim Doody and Bennett Boeschenstein, wanted to appoint Les Miller to the seat.

McArthur lost the seat in the May elections to Butler. Miller is a real estate broker and member of the Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority.

Tonight, the council — sans Brainard — will choose between McArthur, Miller and two others, Barbara Traylor and Teresa Black.

Last week, on a 3-2 vote, the council opted to go ahead with the appointment process for both seats instead of punting the matter to a special election, saying it would cost too much.

The council also voted to clarify that the city’s charter allows tonight’s meeting to take place, and a vote to be legal, if only three of the five council members are in attendance, citing Article VI, Paragraph 45 of the city charter, which says that “a majority of all the members shall constitute a quorum to do business.”

Normally, it would take four councilors of the seven-member panel to constitute a quorum.

The council also is accepting applications to fill Brainard’s at-large seat, but has not yet set a date for when it will make that appointment.

The council meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 250 N. Fifth St.


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