City Council moving to fill empty seat

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 13, 2013


Under the city charter, the Roseville City Council has 30 days from Nov. 11 to fill former Councilman Michael Switalski’s seat, following his swearing-in as the new city treasurer.

City Manager Scott Adkins said that the City Council decided to take letters of interest from people at the City Manager’s office through Nov. 15, along with any lists of qualifications and resumes.

“At the close of Friday, I will prepare the packets and move those on to the council for review,” Adkins said. “We’re still working in the 30-day window, so we will be moving rather rapidly down the process.”

Whomever the council agrees on to fill the seat will serve out the remainder of Switalski’s council term, which ends Nov. 14, 2015. Once a decision has been reached, the person can be sworn in immediately, Adkins said.

City Clerk Richard Steenland said there have been around five or six appointments made to council in his time as a clerk and as a councilman.

“People decide to retire, or move on, or move to another position or run for another office,” Steenland said.

He said that if the City Council fails to make an appointment to fill the seat within 30 days, the governor has the authority to make an appointment under Michigan election law.

To be eligible, Adkins said a person needs to fill the same requirements as they would to run for city office: They simply must have been a resident in the city for two years preceding the appointment and be a registered voter in the city of Roseville.

Under the city charter, the City Council has several methods to choose from to fill a vacancy, Adkins said. For example, it can choose to accept applications or nominate someone right off the bat. The council members did not decide on a method until Nov. 11, when the council held an organizational meeting.

Steenland said every council has decided on how it would fill an open seat differently.

“Every council takes a different approach,” he said. “Frankly, they can come in and just appoint someone; they don’t need to do an interview process.”