Last updated: August 23. 2013 7:51AM - 67 Views

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Village Council members have decided to fill a vacant seat by having a special meeting to interview interested candidates.During Monday’s meeting, Councilman Gene Hovest proposed a method that will allow candidates to submit their names to the clerk-treasurer by noon Friday and be interviewed with specific questions during the special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.Each candidate will have 15 minutes to tell councilors and the mayor in open session why they are interested in the position, their employment history, community involvement and experience that qualifies them to fill the seat.The council will then go into executive session to discuss candidates. If it cannot come to a consensus on the most qualified candidate, the decision will be delayed until the Jan. 23 meeting. If the council does not come to a consensus at this meeting the mayor will have to make the decision.It was also decided to request the candidates explain why they did not, if it applies, seek election to the council in the 2011 general election.All councilors voted in favor of this method.Before the motion, councilors gave their opinion on how the seat should be filled. Newly elected Councilwoman Jo Deskins said she still felt the seat should be given to the person who received the next highest votes in November’s election.Village Mayor Dean Meyer said he wasn’t saying John Salsburey, who placed fourth in the general election, wasn’t a qualified candidate. “But we have to also realize over 1,000 of those who voted didn’t vote for him,” he said. “We have to also take that into account.”Salsburey received 629 votes in the general election.The seat became vacant after Meyer was elected president of the council and then by village charter was appointed mayor to fill the vacant mayoral position.No one ran for mayor in the 2011 general election.

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