With the 2020 election coming up in November, Lincoln City had been tasked with filling three positions on the City Council. And after the August 10 regular City Council meeting, the City learned it had an additional position to fill, as Councilor Diane Kusz announced her resignation.
Kusz held the position for Ward 2 on the City Council after being elected January 1, 2019. Her term was slated to last until December 31, 2022.
Unable to attend the meeting, Kusz submitted a letter to the council that was read at the Monday meeting.
“When I was given the opportunity to start a new journey, serving on City Council, it was our intention to be here for the four-year term. However, life plans change, so with sadness I resign my position,” Kusz said in the letter. “The next chapter in our life takes us on a long road trip listening to good music and discovering beautiful places, debt and commitment free.
“In my opinion, Lincoln City is a well run city… I am proud of Lincoln City’s leadership, octopus and all.”
Kusz husband, Jim, was a long-time District Caption of North Lincoln Fire an Rescue and officially retired from fire service on February 28 of this year.
The newly announced vacancy left the City Council with two options to fill the seat, according to City Manager Ron Chandler: Appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of the term or to fill the vacancy through a special election. Chandler noted that the current 2020 election could also count as a special election.
“We have two candidates that have already filed their petition (for the other Ward 2 position), if one of those or both candidates wanted to pursue the remainder of Councilor Kusz’ petition, they would have to withdraw their current petition and resubmit a petition for that vacant seat by Aug. 19 at 5 p.m.,” Chandler said.
Currently, Chandler said there is one candidate filed for the Ward 1 position currently held by Diana Hinton, two candidates filed for the Ward 2 position currently held by Riley Hoagland and one candidate filed for the Ward 3 position currently held by Judy Casper.
The Council had a brief discussion about what their next step would be to fill Kusz seat, but ultimately fell in favor of waiting until the November election.
“There’s something about an election that kind of calls the crowd, so to speak, and brings a more serious applicant,” Mayor Dick Anderson said. “So that’s something to think about.”
Ultimately the Council voted unanimously to have special election.