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Granite Shoals fills vacant seat

Libby Edwards fills Granite Shoals City Council Place 5 seat

Elizabeth 'Libby' Edwards takes an oath of office for the Granite Shoals City Council Place 5 seat. Courtesy photo

Three times was the charm for Elizabeth “Libby” Edwards in landing the Place 5 seat on the Granite Shoals City Council.

The council voted twice May 19 to a 3-3 tie between Edwards and Cory Hanneman to fill the vacant spot. However, it was Hanneman’s assessment of Edwards that turned the tide in her favor on the third vote. which went 6-0 for Edwards.

“You can not go wrong selecting Libby,” Hanneman told the City Council during the meeting held via a Zoom video conference.

After Councilor Todd Holland resigned April 21 due to moving outside of the city, the council took applications from residents interested in serving in the Place 5 seat. During the May 19 meeting, the council interviewed four candidates, including Phil Ort and Clay Hille, asking each the same questions.

After the interviews, Mayor Carl Brugger called for a vote.

Two council members and the mayor voted for Edwards, while the other three went with Hanneman. The mayor called for a second vote between Edwards and Hanneman, which led to the same results.

Even one vote in either direction wouldn’t have been enough to pick a new Place 5 council member.

City Attorney Josh Katz told the council that, according to the city charter, five of them had to vote for one applicant to put that person on the dais. And they couldn’t postpone the decision as the council was reaching the 30-day deadline, also set by the charter, for appointing someone to the vacant spot.

At this point, Hanneman added that he applied for the seat out of a sense to serve and knows Edwards truly felt called to sit on the council. That was the key difference between the two, he added.

“I’d be happy for Libby. She’s here wholeheartedly. If I had a vote, I’d vote for her,” Hanneman said.

At that point, councilors Jim Davant, Will Skinner, and Ron Munos changed their votes from Hanneman to Edwards. Brugger and councilors Bruce Jones and Terry Scott voted for Edwards from the start.

In introducing herself to the council, Edwards said that she is very passionate about the city and sees it is moving in the right direction and wants to be part of that move.

“I do want to be of help and guidance to move our city forward in a methodical direction,” she said. “And I feel like I’m resourceful. I’m a thinker, and I’m a team player.”

Edwards said the city’s top priorities are water, roads, and code compliance. She’s not new to city or community service. Edwards has served as the city’s parks board secretary for the past two years and was appointed to the new short-term rental committee.

She noted that the parks committee has discussed ways to clean the parks, implement boat ramp fees and collections, and created an adopt-a-park project to assist with minor cleanups, take donations, and develop other funding for the parks.

Edwards will serve in the seat until the special election November 3. According to the city charter, appointed seats are put on ballots on the next election to allow voters to choose who represents them.

And because the full Place 5 term expires in May 2021, the seat will be on that ballot, too.