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Midway City Council may ask governor to appoint replacement

Midway may soon be looking to Governor Rick Scott to appoint the successor of its late councilman.

The Midway City Council voted unanimously last Thursday to ask the governor to appoint the successor to Charlie Smith’s District 1 seat, provided the coun- cil cannot agree on a candidate within the next month.

Smith, who passed away in February, left a four- person split council.

The council has interviewed three candidates, but has been unable to get past a consistent two-to-two vote on each candidate.

This issue has left some on the council frustrated at the stalemate, and worried that it will affect the gov- ernance of the city.

“We can’t be proactive with an even vote,” said Mayor Pro Tem Samuel Stevens. “That makes me question whether we can move this city forward or not. A tie doesn’t move anything. It’s going to get in the way of the day-to-day running of the city.”

The council voted last Thursday to re-advertise the position in order to bring in new candidates. If a can- didate is not agreed upon by the next council meeting (May 3), the decision will be sent to the governor.

“Now we’ve hit a stone wall,” Stevens said. “Unless the governor makes a very sound decision, I think we’ll be sitting idle until the next election. It’s not fair to the people. It’s not fair to the citizens when you can see change coming and we can do more for the citizens and businesses — and all that stops.”

Councilwoman Carolyn Francis, on the other hand, has urged the council to decide on a candidate on its own before giving the decision to the governor.

“I don’t understand what the urgency is,” Francis said. “Every decision won’t end up two-two. We need to not be so ready to run to the governor when we can do the job ourselves. We can agree to disagree. Until we can find a candidate we agree on we can keep this city running. This is an opportunity for us to come together and make a good judgment call and make this city run.”

Former Midway City Manager Auburn Ford sug- gested the city just set up a special election, and let the chips fall where they may.

“Let the people speak on who they want their elected official to be,” Ford said.

“We want to have a sound government in Midway,” Francis concluded. “This seat is critical to us moving forward in a positive way.”

Story By: Weston Williams