MESA — When the Mesa City Council meets, three seats remain empty.
The city of 455 should have a five-person council and a mayor, but it is missing two council members and a mayor. The council positions have been open since 2005, and the mayor’s job since August.
Terri Standridge, city clerk-treasurer, said in her 20 years at city hall, she can only recall one other time when Mesa lacked two council members and a mayor simultaneously. But then, locals were appointed to the positions within months.
Former Mayor Austin Davis was appointed and then elected mayor in 2008, Standridge said. However, he resigned because of work and family obligations.
Councilman David Ferguson, who has been on the council for 10 years, is serving as mayor pro-tem.
Gail Gonzalez has been a city councilwoman since Jan. 2008, and Jim Cronenwett started July 2008.
If someone were to apply for one of the city council positions, they would have to be appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Standridge said.
The city council has 90 days to appoint a replacement. After that, the approval goes to Franklin County commissioners for 90 days, and then to the governor.
Franklin County commissioners have the approval authority for the mayor position. But soon, it will also be at the gubernatorial level, she said.
The positions have been posted at Mesa’s city hall and post office and in city newsletters. However, there hasn’t been much interest, Standridge said.
The mayor receives a monthly stipend of $150, and council members receive $10 a meeting for a maximum of $40 a month.
With only three out of five council members, all must be present for the council to have a quorum and take action, Standridge said. And all three must agree in order for a motion or resolution to pass.
“We get our stuff done,” she said. “For a little town, we seem to get a lot of business.”
To be a council member or mayor, someone must be a resident of Mesa for more than one year, be a registered voter, and not hold another public office in the city.