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City positions are open for the taking

  Change is coming to the city of Portola, but the city needs people to rise to the occasion. At the City Council meeting Dec. 12, the council discussed the four openings in the city offices.

  It was decided the city would begin accepting letters of interest for the two positions on the Planning Commission, one position as city treasurer and the one open position on the City Council.

  The city Planning Commission takes actions and makes recommendations relating to land use within the city. The commission was left with two empty slots when Michelle Gault was elected to the City Council, and Pam Gill resigned from the position.

  Christine Pearson was nominated for the city treasurer position in September. Since she was the only candidate, she won the election, but is no longer qualified for the position because she moved out of the city.

  The meeting was also the last for council member Curt McBride, who has resigned due to personal reasons. His last day will be Dec. 31.

  The council discussed various options as to how they would fill these positions. They considered calling a special election to fill the seats, but City Manager Leslie Tigan said it costs around $8,000 and a lot of staff time to hold a special election.

  The next option would be for the City Council to appoint the seats after a thorough review of a candidate’s qualifications. The council members all agreed this would be the best process, and began discussion on how they would go about appointing the positions.

  The planning commissioner positions will be open until filled, but the treasurer position must be filled by Feb. 10, 2013, and the City Council member must be appointed by March 1, 2013.

  Gault said she would like to see letters of interest come for the council to review.

  The council member position cannot be filled until it is officially vacant after Dec. 31, when McBride leaves. The council decided to begin accepting letters for the two deadline positions until Jan. 16.

  All of the positions’ terms will extend until 2014, and all candidates must be registered to vote in and be residents of Portola.

  Newly appointed Mayor John Larrieu encouraged the public to step forward and help the city.

  “We would welcome anyone who has an interest in the city to coming forward and volunteering to serve,” he said.

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