The four remaining council members are hoping to appoint a person to the seat rather than wait until the November election to have a full council. Mr. Carlson's term ends in December 2014.
The application deadline is July 8 at 5 p.m.
The council decided at its June 19 meeting to interview candidates on Thursday, July 11, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The council could appoint a person that night, or, if the four members can't agree on a candidate, could call for an election on Nov. 5.
If an election is held, the candidate filing period would open on July15 and end on Aug. 9.
New vice mayor
The council on June 19 also appointed Cary Wiest vice mayor. Mr. Carlson was elected to that position in December, but resigned the post effective 6 p.m. June 19, just before the council meeting.
Mr. Wiest was elected to the council last November, supported along with Mayor Elizabeth Lewis by the Atherton Police Officers' Association during a campaign marked by warnings from the police union that police services would be in jeopardy should residents support the wrong candidates. Mr. Wiest had run unsuccessfully for a council seat in 2010, soon after moving to Atherton.
Council members Jim Dobbie and Bill Widmer objected to the appointment of a vice mayor that night, and urged the council to postpone the decision. "It is not appropriate for council member Carlson to be voting on the future mayor when (Mr. Carlson) is leaving," Mr. Dobbie said.
Mr. Widmer said he felt so strongly that the appointment, with Mr. Carlson voting, would be inappropriate that he would refuse to vote if the council acted that night.
Disagreeing with his colleagues, Mr. Carlson said the council needed to have a vice mayor in place in case the mayor is unable for any reason to perform her duties after Mr. Carlson has stepped down. Such a situation would leave the council with three members only, and with none designated to preside over a council session.
Mr. Carlson, Mr. Wiest and Mayor Lewis pushed ahead; all three cast votes for Mr. Wiest. Mr. Dobbie voted no, and Mr. Widmer abstained.
There is no rule requiring the council to appoint a vice mayor to the mayoral post the following year, but that has been the traditional progression into the office. The tradition is likely to be tested in December, however, given the unusual circumstances for Mr. Wiest's appointment and the dissension of two council members.
To apply for council
Residents interested in applying for the council seat should contact City Clerk Theresa DellaSanta at 752-0529 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Application forms are available online at www. ci.atherton.ca.us under the "Announcement" heading on the home page.