MARION — The Marion City Council will appoint a new council member next week from a pool of six residents who applied for the job.
The new member will fill the vacancy created by the death of Paul Draper, 85, on Feb. 6.
The person appointed to his at-large seat would serve until the next municipal election, in November 2021, and have the option of running for election.
The six who applied the join the seven-member council are Grant Harper, Destiny Hastings, Michael Kibler, Dale Monroe, Steven Moshier and Phillip Seidl.
Council members receive a $5,018 annual stipend.
Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly said the new council member would ideally be someone willing to abide by the city’s ethics policy, be a responsible leader and have a record of community involvement.
“All community leaders should have those characteristics,” AbouAssaly said. “I just hope people representing the community are independent thinkers who are willing to listen to opposing viewpoints and make well-founded decisions.”
Council members are to interview candidates and appoint the new member during a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 1225 Sixth Ave. The council will vote by ballot.
AbouAssaly said he expects several rounds of votes until the candidates are narrowed down.
The new council member will be sworn in on Thursday.
“Baptism by fire,” city council member Rene Gadelha joked. “We are looking forward to having a full council again.”
“Being able to answer our questions and think on their feet is huge,” Gadelha said. “We do a lot in the public eye, and we need someone who is comfortable speaking about city things and quick to learn.”
The six applicants for the Marion City Council at-large seat, in their letters to the council, stated their reasons for applying:
• Grant Harper, who lost to Draper in the November 2019 municipal election, said applying for the council vacancy is an “extension of my campaign.”
During last fall’s campaign, he wrote, he was “struck by the similarity of concern” that he and Draper “both held for the city’s future.”
• Destiny Hastings, who has lived in Marion for almost four years, serves on the board of advisers and the organization committee for Marion’s Uptown District, volunteering at farmers markets, the Peppermint Walk and other community events.
“Becoming a member of the city council will give me the chance to serve Marion and its citizens more broadly and on a deeper level,” Hastings wrote.
• Michael Kibler wrote that Marion was his childhood home, is the home of his family, and “I have a vested interest in the success of our community.”
Kibler listed volunteer positions he has held, including adult leadership positions with Boy Scouts of America and at the Marion Christian Church.
• Dale Monroe cited his experience in business, education and community leadership since the 1990s, saying he has served on Marion’s Planning & Zoning Commission and on the boards of Blue Zones, Marion Public Library and the Metro YMCA.
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• Steven Moshier wrote he has “no ax to grind or special interest to cater to. Listening to the interests and concerns of the citizens of Marion and weighing that against what is in the best interest of our city will be my focus.”
Moshier has served on the boards of Four Oaks, Jane Boyd Community House, Affordable Housing Network, NAACP and the Marion Civil Rights Commission, among others.
• Phillip Seidl, who has served on the Marion Planning & Zoning Commission since 1998, wrote, “Marion has blossomed and grown as a vibrant city while maintaining and cultivating its unique ‘small town’ ambience.”
“I sincerely hope to continue to have the opportunity for positive participation in steering Marion forward as a member of the city council.”
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