Bellevue mayor, seeking to break logjam, names new appointee to vacant council seat - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 12:29 am
Bellevue mayor, seeking to break logjam, names new appointee to vacant council seat

In a months-long stalemate between the Bellevue mayor and City Council, Mayor Rita Sanders is trying a different solution.

Sanders has appointed IT specialist Bill Bonitz to the council's vacant Ward I seat.

The council, which held up Sanders' previous appointee for the seat, is set to vote on the new appointment Monday.

Sanders had appointed businessman Mike Hall to fill the seat.

Three council members objected, saying another businessman is more qualified, and they declined to confirm her appointment. They suggested holding a special election to fill the seat, at a cost of up to $10,000.

Sanders nixed the special election, in part because of the cost.

The disagreement has dragged on since Councilman Scott Houghtaling left the seat in March.

Bonitz, a veteran, said in a letter to Sanders that he has been involved in a variety of Bellevue organizations and that he wants to give back to the community.

“If selected for the council, I would be a tireless representative of the constituents of Ward 1,” he said. “But more importantly, I will bring a fair and open mind to the deliberations of the council to do what is best for all of Bellevue.”'

Also on Monday night's council agenda is a proposal from Councilwoman Carol Blood to hold a special election for the seat.

Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale recently urged Bellevue to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

“A representative democracy should abhor a vacancy,” he wrote in a letter about the process of selecting a nominee.

Contact the writer: Roseann Moring

roseann.moring@owh.com    |   402-444-1084    |  

Roseann covers Bellevue and Sarpy County crime.

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