By Bonnie Eslinger, Daily News Staff Writer
The Atherton City Council this week gave residents two reasons to go the polls Nov. 5 — to choose a new council member and decide whether to renew a parcel tax.
At its meeting Wednesday night, the council voted 3-1 to forget about trying to appoint a replacement for Jerry Carlson, who resigned mid-term on July 1. Council Member Bill Widmer cast the dissenting vote, saying “I don’t like to lose my options.”
Under state law, the council had only 60 days from July 1 to either appoint Carlson’s replacement or call for an election by July 15 to make the November ballot, according to City Attorney William Conners.
The council’s four remaining members called for the election July 11 after failing to select someone that a majority of them could agree on from among seven candidates.
Mayor Elizabeth Lewis suggested Wednesday that the council take another stab at appointing someone after Aug. 9 — the last day candidates can file to run for Carlson’s seat. Council Member Bill Widmer agreed, but Vice Mayor Cary Wiest opposed the idea, saying it would be “unfair” to candidates to effectively delay their campaigns for three weeks on the chance an appointment might be made after all.
Counci Member Jim Dobbie subsequently motioned to continue with the election, Wiest seconded it and Lewis cast a third vote, telling Widmer, “I changed my mind.”
Rick DeGolia, whose appointment to the council Lewis and Wiest had supported, told The Daily News he plans to run. John Ruggiero, whose appointment was backed by Widmer and Dobbie, said he “probably” would run as well.
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