Colfax council fills vacancy

Jason McKinney is new city representative
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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Dec. 20 UPDATE: The Colfax City Council has appointed Jason McKinney to fill the vacancy on the board.


If everything went as planned, there should now be a full panel on the Colfax City Council. The appointment to fill the vacancy on the council was to take place at a special meeting of the City Council scheduled to be held last night.

The vacancy was created when Josh Alpine resigned after winning the District 5 seat on the Placer County Water Agency at the Nov. 6 election. In a staff report, City Attorney Alfred A. “Mick” Cabral said, “An appointee will serve the two year balance of Mr. Alpine’s term which expires after the November 2014 election.”

After six residents submitted letters of interest in the position, council members decided at their Dec. 12 meeting to schedule the Dec. 19 special meeting in order to more thoroughly review the applicants’ qualifications, according to City Clerk Karen Pierce.

The applicants are Chuck Burke, who has lived in Colfax for almost 25 years and has worked in construction for 40 years; Harold “Hal” Dains, a 28-year Colfax resident who has a diverse background, including work in the aircraft industry and teaching high school math, physics and chemistry; Sharon Gieras, who previously served on the Colfax City Council; Steve Harvey, who ran for re-election to the city council at the last election but lost by a single vote; James McKinney, a past member of the Colfax Planning Commission and the Economic Development Commission, a volunteer with the Colfax Lions Club and Boy Scouts, and owner of Colfax Max restaurant; and Alexander K. Turner Jr., who served in the Air Force and is now semi-retired with a background as a general and electrical contractor, commercial pilot and flight instructor.

City ordinance dictates that the council must fill the vacancy by appointment no later than Dec. 22, which is 30 days from Alpine’s resignation, Cabral said. Should the council fail to fill the vacancy by appointment, Cabral advised the council, a special election would have to be held “on the next regularly scheduled election date not less than 114 days from the date the election is called,” which would leave the council with only four members until the election is conducted.

Prior to deciding to postpone the decision on the council seat appointment, the oath of office was administered to newly elected members Kim Douglass and Tom Parnham. Once the new council was seated, the longest-serving councilperson, Donna Barkle, was appointed mayor. Tony Hesch, who was appointed to the council in August but has the second-longest seniority on the council, was selected mayor pro tem.