Officials debate a temp for the council

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Sparta-Last night, the Sparta Township Council considered whether or not it would appoint a temporary councilmember. The governing body was left with only four members after Michael McKenna, a former mayor, stepped down last month because he moved out of the area. As of Wednesday afternoon, press time for The Sparta Independent, no decision had been made regarding a replacement. "My assumption is that they will appoint someone to temporarily fill that position," said Municipal Clerk Miriam Tower before the meeting. "We do have a need to have five members on the council between now and (November)." Officially, a township council meeting can be held with only three council members present. However, Tower said that it would be difficult to proceed through August and September without a full council. "These are the months that vacation and work schedules cause absences," said Tower. "If you're missing one out of the five already, if someone goes on vacation and someone gets sick, we don't have a meeting." Tower said that the council also may need to look into adopting a bond ordinance for a new water main (see story on page 1) before a new permanent council member takes office after the Nov. 2 election. "To do that, I need all five members," said Tower explaining that a majority is needed to pass a bond. The legislative body has discretion over who is chosen to fill the vacancy. Once chosen, a temporary town council member would start immediately and serve until November when a permanent council member will be elected. Candidate petitions to run in the November election are due by Aug. 24.