Munroe Falls City Council tried one last time to fill a vacant council seat Tuesday, but ended up with the same 3-3 split that ended several previous attempts.
Now it’s up to Mayor Frank Larson to name the council’s seventh member.
Technically, the council has until Friday to get the job done, but there are no plans for another vote.
Larson said he has 30 days to make an appointment, but he won’t take that long.
“I’d like to get this over with,” he said Wednesday.
Once the vacant council seat is filled, the council finally will be able to conduct some other unfinished business: choosing a council president.
The nonpartisan panel has tried, and failed, four times this month to name a leader, always with the same 3-3 tie. When the council numbers seven again, that problem should resolve itself.
While it’s a quirky issue, Larson said the stalemate is not affecting city services nor operations. He has been running the council meetings in lieu of a council president, and the council has not split its vote on important city legislation.
Still, Councilman Bob Pitz said it’s a shame the council could not pick its own replacement.
The seat became vacant when Councilman Jim Iona, who was halfway through a four-year at-large term, decided to run for a new four-year at-large term last fall. He won, leaving two years remaining on his former seat.
After interviewing nine candidates, the council appeared ready to appoint Allen Mavrides, a municipal services coordinator at an architectural firm and current chair of the Summit County Planning Commission. Mavrides even went to last week’s council meeting with his family in tow.
To the surprise of many, some council members had a change of heart, however, and voted for Sam Busic, who lost his council seat last year when a filing error prevented him from running for re-election.
The vote was rescheduled for Tuesday, and while phone calls were exchanged over the weekend, there was no resolution.
“I’m real disappointed,” Pitz said.
Larson said he will not limit his decision to Mavrides or Busic.
“I’m going to look at everyone who has shown an interest in the position, and I’ll try to make the best decision for the citizens of Munroe Falls,” he said. “I never really thought it was going to come to me, but I’m excited that we had so many people show an interest in serving on council.”
The mayor said the city needs to look at making revisions to its charter to answer the problems encountered this month.
“When it’s obvious there’s an impasse, there should be some kind of tie-breaking mechanism that works a little faster,” he said.
Paula Schleis can be reached at 330-996-3741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.