Council to fill empty seat today


Seymour City Council members have a large pool of candidates to choose from as they are set to appoint an at-large councilman later today.

The council is expected to select one of 15 applicants at 5 p.m. when they gather in council chambers for the seat previously held by Shawn Malone.

An independent, Malone resigned last year after he and his wife moved out of the city. He was elected to a four-year term that began in 2016. His seat along with to other at-large and four district council seats are up for election on Nov. 5.

At-large districts include the entire city.

The list of those who have applied are Greg Prange, Jeremiah Tracey, Seth Davidson, Darrin Boas, Dovie Stidham, John Burkhart, Richard Meadors, Nathaniel Bryant, Steven Buffington, Lisa Hoene, Drew Storey, Marcus Sewell, Milenda Clay, Paul Collins and Lorne Coffey.

The list includes Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, men, women, a police officer, school administrators and more. It also includes political newcomers, and those who have been elected to office before.

Burkhart was a three-term mayor for the city, Boas was a councilman and Prange was a county councilman.

The council is made up of Democrats Lloyd Hudson and J.J. Reinhart, Republicans Jerry Hackney, Matt Nicholson and Jim Rebber, and independent Dave Earley, who will vote on Malone’s replacement.

Malone was an independent who served on the council since 2016, but moved outside city limits. His appointment will come by a council vote rather than a caucus because Jackson County does not have a formally organized Independent party.

When they have vacancies, the Democrat and Republican parties call caucuses of precinct committeemen in the district where it exists and they vote on a replacement.

Mayor Craig Luedeman said each candidate will get two to three minutes to speak, and the new councilman will have to secure four votes.

He said he would suggest the council approve all candidates, and then take a vote. Those who do not receive a vote will be eliminated.

The council will continue to take a vote until a candidate receives the four votes.

Other rules will be approved by the council, but that is the general outline, Luedeman said.

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