Lockney council decides to let empty seat go up for vote

The mosaic along Locust Street in downtown Lockney.

LOCKNEY – One of the most heavily debated items recently surrounding the Lockney City Council will go to the people. On Tuesday morning the council decided they would leave Mayor Aaron Wilson’s former council seat open until the next municipal election, in May 2023.

The council was presented with a number of options by city attorney Lanny Voss. They could either appoint a person to the position to fill the remaining term, take applications for the position and have an outside entity decide who to place, or hold an election at the municipal election (but not the upcoming November general election).

Voss told the council that if there were two vacancies, a special election would have to be called, but with one they have a number of choices.

Councilman Donnie McLaughlin told the group why he was against appointing anyone, saying that based upon the number of people who had stated they were interested in the seat, no matter who was appointed there would be those who felt the council was doing the wrong thing. “We need to let the citizens determine who will represent them.”

Voss said the council would still need to speak with attorney Bob Bass of Allison, Bass & Magee in determining how the election should proceed. Bass was the attorney the city hired in drawing up its at-large voting earlier this year.

MORE: Lockney City Council opts to abolish voting districts

Ultimately the council agreed with McLaughlin on the decision, officially taking no action on the move, triggering the need for next year’s election.

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