Berkley receives eight applications for vacated council seat

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 20, 2018

File photo

BERKLEY — After the passing of the Feb. 13 deadline, the city of Berkley had received eight applications for its open City Council seat.

Since the new council member needs to be appointed at the March 5 regular meeting, City Manager Matthew Baumgarten said the city is looking at holding a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, at City Hall, 3338 Coolidge Highway, for the council to talk to the finalists.

“We’re still waiting to see if it accommodates all current members of council’s schedules,” he said. “The week before the regular meeting, we’ll do a special meeting, allow the finalists, the top five, to come in, kind of make their introductions, talk a little bit about their desire to serve and make a general introduction to the community.”

Because the city received more than five applications for the open seat vacated after Alan Kideckel’s resignation, it will move forward with a subcommittee to review the applications and decide the finalists. The eight candidates are Devin Bone, Susan Citraro, Bridget Dean, Charlene Kondrat, Jessica Lumbreras, Kevin McNulty, Natalie Price and Charles Tyrrell.

The subcommittee consists of Mayor Pro Tem Steve Baker, Councilwoman Eileen Steadman and Councilman Ross Gavin, who met Friday, Feb. 16, to score the applications.

Gavin previously was on the other side of this process in December, as he was appointed to Dan Terbrack’s seat after Terbrack was elected mayor.

The councilman said that the three criteria the council is looking at for the applicants — community engagement and municipal involvement, professional experience, and background and diversity — do a good job of encompassing most of what they want to find out from the candidates.

Outside of that criteria, Gavin said he wants to see the passion from a candidate about serving the city in this capacity.

“Part of what I want to see is that real passion and that willingness to serve,” he said. “It is certainly great that individuals are putting their name forward, and I want to see that fire, that passion that I think that an individual has for hoping to solve some of these huge challenges that cities face, and Berkley being no exception.”

As he was interviewed himself during this process, Gavin said what he’s looking forward to most is sitting down, one on one, with the finalists. 

“I think that really offered a good chance to kind of dive deep to what, at the time, was my approach to ... city government, how it should function, the priorities that we should have, and kind of the understanding of city government and the passion an individual has for it,” he said.