Dan Bohl's squeaker of a third-place finish and ascent to the Lake County Commission means it's the city's turn to play "Fill the Vacancy." We've already seen the game played twice in Lake County this year, and by very different processes. In June, the Madison Central School Board took applications and chose two of the five applicants for public interviews before picking Steve Nelson to take a seat. Last month, the Lake County Commission made a surprisingly fast and unexpected choice, picking Scott Pedersen, fourth-place finisher in the Republican primary, to fill Shirlee Leighton's chair less than a week after she died. (By the way, Pedersen takes his oath of office this morning. Feel free to picket!)
Now it's the Madison City Commission's turn. Will they go through the application process? Will they pick the runner-up in the last election? Or will they exercise their perfectly legal executive fiat and pick whomever they please?
Let's keep it simple: offer the job to Monica Campbell. She won the second seat in April's election, then had it taken away by one additional questionable ballot and a King of Hearts. If Monica wants the job, she's got dibs. If she doesn't want it, call for applications and do the public interviews. And maybe, just for variety, conduct all of the discussions in open session. If we were having an election, the candidates would face public scrutiny. Filling a vacancy should be equally public.
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