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Granite Shoals council fills Place 2 seat

Kevin Flack and Aaron Garcia

Kevin Flack (left) with Mayor Aaron Garcia at the Granite Shoals City Council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 25. Flack was appointed by the council to fill the Place 2 seat left vacant when Garcia stepped in to fill the vacant mayor position. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Granite Shoals City Council voted unanimously to appoint Kevin Flack to the Place 2 seat during its regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 25. 

The council heard from five applicants for the position, which opened when Place 2 Councilor Aaron Garcia took over as mayor on Oct. 11. As mayor pro tem, Garcia automatically became mayor after Will Skinner resigned because he was moving out of the city.

“Thank you to everybody else,” Place 3 Councilor Samantha Ortis told the four other candidates. “You all didn’t make it easy for us to decide.” 

Seven applicants were listed on the city agenda, but two did not participate in the selection process. Judy Salvaggio withdrew due to an illness in the family, and Jennifer Moynihan was not present. Remaining applicants were Roman Archer, Kiel Arnone, Michael Berg, Ben Miller, and Flack.

Flack ran for City Council against Place 6 Councilor Phil Ort in May, losing by just 11 votes. He will serve on the council until May 2023, at which point, the Place 2 seat will be up for election and he will have to run against other candidates if he wants the job.

After Garcia officially assumed the role of mayor on Oct. 11, the council voted to set an Oct. 25 application deadline for the Place 2 appointment.

Garcia led an original selection process during which applicants gave two-minute introductions and answered the same set of seven questions under a one-minute and 30-second time constraint before the council. Applicants were required to wait outside the chambers and take turns going through the vetting process. Councilors then voted anonymously, ranking each applicant on a scale of one to six, with one being their top choice and six being their last. The two applicants with the lowest cumulative number were then announced, being Flack and Roman Archer.

Applicants were asked the following questions, which were generated by Garcia:

  • Why do you want to serve on council?
  • If chosen, do you plan on running again in May?
  • Tell us about any volunteer work you have been a part of in the last few years.
  • Do you know what Lot 51 is? Elaborate.
  • Do you know what this commitment means?
  • Tell us what you are most proud of.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Councilors then voted anonymously between Flack and Archer, with Flack receiving four votes to Archer’s two. According to the city charter, 80 percent of the council is required to vote in favor of a councilor appointment for the vote to pass, which led to an open discussion and the ultimate decision to make a motion to approve Flack rather than continue voting anonymously.

Place 1 Councilor Ron Munos moved to approve Flack’s appointment and was seconded by Ortis. Ort asked that the vote be taken as a “roll call” due to its significance.

The councilors then voted one by one, all in favor of the appointment.

“I’m running for City Council because I want to give back to the community,” Flack told the council. “I do have the time, the ability, and the effort to do this.”

Flack will be sworn in during the council’s next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Granite Shoals City Hall, 2221 N. Philips Ranch Road. The council will also appoint a new mayor pro tem once it is back to full capacity.

dakota@thepicayune.com