by Louise R. SHAW
FARMINGTON—Alex Leeman was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Farmington City Council, after serving for three and a half years on the city’s Planning Commission.
During a council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 7, council members voted to appoint Leeman to the position and according to state law relating to vacancies, he will serve for the next 15 months, at which time voters will have a chance to decide who will fill the seat for the last two years of the term.
The position opened up when council member Brigham Mellor was hired as Economic Development Director for the city.
Council members heard from 15 candidates for the seat prior to the vote. Twenty people had originally applied, but four withdrew their applications and one did not attend the meeting.
Resumes and the responses to questions submitted by candidates had been reviewed by council members prior to the meeting.
Each candidate was given three minutes to express their interest and qualifications in the position.
Mayor Jim Talbot thanked those who applied for the position, and encouraged those who weren’t appointed to run for office in the next election cycle, when three four-year seats will also be on the ballot.
During his remarks, Leeman told the council he had enjoyed his service on the planning commission and considered the council opening “an opportunity to extend my services to the city for one more year.”
“You know I’m there every week,” he said. “You know I’m prepared. From time to time we don’t agree on various issues,” he said, but it “forces you to examine all sides of an issue when you don’t all agree.”
When referencing his resume, he said it included working for eight years at Lagoon. “What’s more Farmington than that?” he asked.
“Growth is not something we can avoid,’ he said, “but we can direct it.” He said he wanted to continue to help make Farmington “a great place to live.”
Others who spoke shared information about their experience and their desire to help with the Farmington’s future.
“I love this town and I love this opportunity,” said Jeanie Allen. “I believe that every issue that comes to the city council is important.”
John Anderson said he had a “great love for Farmington and its people.” Anderson is chairman of the city’s Preservation Commission and over the years has helped save many homes or determine if they are not salvageable.
Rick Cline talked of his experience in a variety of positions and his desire to listen and make decisions that benefit the whole of Farmington.
Others who applied for the appointment and spoke to the council are Shawn Beus, Aaron Biesinger, Lincoln Crowley, Richard Dutson, Michael Hepworth, Wes Holmes, Jon Hunter, Joseph Jardine, Tarra McFadden, Lorenzo Semadeni and Jonathan Shurtliff.
“It was very impressive being able to read your thoughts and your feelings and the points that you put on your applications,” said Talbot, who did not have a vote on the appointment. The mayor only votes in the case of a tie.
Council members voted for first, second and third choices. Each first-place vote counted as three votes, the second place as two and the third place as one vote.
Leeman received eight votes and council members then moved to appoint him to the position. The vote passed with the required minimum of three votes to one.