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Election deciding replacement for council vacancy

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POSTED April 6, 2010 3:20 a.m.
LATHROP – There will be only four people on the Lathrop Council for the rest of 2010.

The seat vacated by the resignation of former council member Robert Oliver about two weeks ago will not be filled either by a special election or appointment, according to a decision by the council Tuesday night. They unanimously decided instead to wait until the November elections to fill the vacancy.

Oliver’s term as councilman would have been up by the end of the year. His seat and that of Council member Sonny Dhaliwal are the two up for grabs in November, plus the mayor’s position which is a two-year term. Council members serve four years each term.

By avoiding a special election, the city saves up to $20,000 which would have been used for such expenses as printed ballots and other materials. Appointment would have involved the use of manpower at City Hall as well.

Since the November election is going to include finding a replacement for Oliver’s old seat, this will not involve any additional expenses for the city.

The council had two other options to fill the unscheduled vacancy. They could have simply appointed someone without opening the vacancy for applications. Or, they could have opened the vacancy for applications and then schedule a special meeting for interviews and appointment no later than April 16.

Oliver, who has held elected and appointed positions including the City Council in various capacities for about two decades, resigned in mid-March for personal reasons. He and wife Vivian decided to move to Ventura in Southern California to be near their children. Besides being a councilman, the retired educator was also the preacher and minister at the Lathrop Church of Christ in the historic Old Town District. He retired from that post several years ago.
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