by nathan oster
Mayor Myles Foley said he will be prepared to offer recommendations for town attorney and the vacant seat on the council when the Greybull Town Council gathers for a special meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 at Town Hall.
The town is looking to replace Scott McColloch, who resigned last week after more than three decades as the town attorney, and to fill the seat that Foley vacated when he was sworn in as mayor earlier this month.
Foley recommended Richard “Pappy” Capen to fill the vacant council seat and Georgia Antley Hunt to serve as town attorney, but the council didn’t endorse either of them when it considered the mayor’s full list of appointments on Jan. 12.
Foley said he’ll try again to fill the seats on Jan. 29.
He said he has no intention of asking for letters of interest from the community. While town ordinance is not specific about how vacancies should be filled, the standard practice in recent years has been to seek letters of interest.
Foley said he’s against that practice and feels the standard operating procedure should be for the council to simply appoint the person who came closest to winning a seat in the last election. One caveat: He feels the mayor should have the discretion to decide whether the person is fit for the job.
In this case, the next-highest-vote-getter would have been Capen, who was rejected by the council.
“I understand how it has been done in recent years (regarding letters of interest), but I think it should be the next runner-up from the election. That should be the standard we follow,” said Foley. “If it can’t be that person, the mayor should be able to appoint someone.
“Who can run? It just needs to be a city resident over the age of 18. It doesn’t need to be a person with a degree or something like that. It just needs to be a person who is willing to serve — and who felt strongly enough about it to run for office.”
In addition to considering the mayor’s two recommended appointees, the council is also scheduled to discuss the 2014 waterline upgrade project. The last of the rehabilitations, it will impact more than 24 city blocks.
At last week’s meeting, the council authorized the mayor to award the bid, but made it contingent upon the approval of the Nelson Engineering, which put together the specs for the project.
The town opened bids on Friday. Of the seven that bid on the project, Copper Creek emerged as the low bidder, coming in at $1.24 million. Pab Good Trucking was next in line at $1.31 million.
Town Administrator Paul Thur said the work will bring all of the town’s water lines into the 21st century, with PVC piping rather than cast iron.