Berkley council starts application process for open seat

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 12, 2018

 The Berkley City Council is tasked with finding another new member after Alan Kideckel resigned. The council will appoint a new member at its March 5 meeting.

The Berkley City Council is tasked with finding another new member after Alan Kideckel resigned. The council will appoint a new member at its March 5 meeting.

Photo by Mike Koury

BERKLEY — Following former City Councilman Alan Kideckel’s resignation, the Berkley City Council began the process of replacing him.

The council accepted Kideckel’s resignation at its Feb. 5 meeting and has 30 days from that date to find his replacement. The council will make the appointment at its March 5 meeting.

The basis for the Feb. 5 discussion was to decide how to go about replacing Kideckel, and whether the council should bring back the finalists from the last time it appointed a council member — in December — or start the process all over again and accept new applications.

Councilman Dennis Hennen said his inclination was to bring the five finalists from December before council to see if they’re still interested.

“I think we had a good group out of that,” he said. “I think it’s unlikely that someone else would come forward. An immediate question I’d have is, ‘Where were you a month ago?’ if somebody did come forward at this point. And it’s been such a short amount of time that I can’t see anything that … has changed since then.”

On the other side, Councilman Ross Gavin, whom the council appointed from those December applications, felt that the council should start the process over from the beginning.

“There’s obviously a lot of really good talent last time, and my guess is that that interest is still there from the 20-odd individuals that applied last time. My biggest reason for kind of thinking that is because I can’t tell you what I don’t know, and I don’t know if there are other residents out there.”

The council decided to start from the beginning and have a whole new application process. With that choice made, the council then deliberated on what exactly it will be looking for in applicants.

The members decided on criteria that applicants will be graded on: community engagement and municipal involvement, professional experience, and background and diversity.

Mayor Dan Terbrack spoke on the topic of professional experience and what it will mean.

“I think it actually leads to more about what they’ve done and what that unique perspective may actually bring to a voice on council, as opposed to a zero if you don’t have municipal experience,” Terbrack said. “Maybe you have something else — whether it’s technology or a consultant of some kind — something that does lead to leadership and organizational skills. I’d be much more inclined to judge it that way, as opposed to directly their professional experience.”

The deadline for applications is Feb. 13. If the council receives more than five applications, a subcommittee will be created with Mayor Pro Tem Steve Baker, Councilwoman Eileen Steadman and Gavin to review the submissions.

After reviewing the applications, the council will hold a special meeting at an unspecified date before March 5, when the council will bring in five applicants to introduce themselves and state their qualifications for the board.