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Appoint or elect?
Replacing DeBrum on council is $234,795 question
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The clock is running for Manteca to avoid a $234,795 stand-alone special election.

If the next City Council being installed on Tuesday doesn’t decide by Jan. 31 to make an appointment to fill the vacancy created by Steve DeBrum’s election to mayor on Nov. 4, it would automatically force a special election on June 2, 2015 to select a replacement.

And if Manteca is the only election that the county registrar of voters is conducting on that date it could cost as much as $234,795 or $7.50 per registered voter. The city has budgeted $50,000 in the event there is a need for a special election. Additional jurisdictions conducting special elections on June 2 would lower the cost.

Under law, the council has 60 days to appoint someone after DeBrum takes the oath as mayor on Tuesday to replace Willie Weatherford who opted not to seek re-election.  Mike Morowit and Richard Silverman also will be sworn in for seats currently held by John Harris and Vince Hernandez. Harris didn’t seek another term and Hernandez came in third in the Nov. 4 balloting.

Previous councils have done it both ways —.calling one time for a special election and another time appointing a replacement.

 In 2002 when current Mayor Weatherford defeated Carlon Perry, former mayor Jack Snyder was appointed to fill the balance of Weatherford’s council term. In 2004 DeBrum was elected to the council when Councilman Dave Macedo vacated his seat.