City of Menifee Now Seeking Applicants for City Council

The City of Menifee is seeking applications from residents to replace the late Fred Twyman's city council seat. Last night at the city ...

The City of Menifee is seeking applications from residents to replace the late Fred Twyman's city council seat.

Last night at the city council meeting, the council voted unanimously to conduct an open, public process to appoint a new city council member.

The decision came after both Mayor Wallace Edgerton and councilman Tom Furhman nominated Planning Commissioner Marc Miller to the council. However, the motion failed when neither councilmembers John Denver nor Darcy Kuenzi would supply a third, and deciding vote.

At that point, the council entertained ideas on how to appoint a councilmember, to which Kuenzi offered a proposal.

"I was able to do a lot of research on this matter", said Kuenzi. "There have been a dozen other cities that have lost a councilmember due to death or some other reason. Cities like Pleasanton, Norco, Rancho Mirage, Davis, Concord, all went through some kind of open, public process."

Kuenzi's proposal would have residents submit applications to become a city councilmember. Applications would be accepted starting tomorrow, July 20, through July 28. On the following day, July 29, councilmembers would review all applicants, and each would select up to three to move into a select group interviewees. On August 2nd, the city council would interview those select group of applicants before a public audience. Finally, each councilmember would assign a score to each applicant. The applicant with the highest combined score of all councilmembers will be appointed.

Kuenzi went on to add that the council may want to add certain conditions to the newly appointed councilmember, including if that member has the right to appoint a new Planning Commissioner. However, that addition met some argument.

Marc Miller was appointed to the Planning Commission by Fred Twyman. Whoever replaced Twyman on the council would have the power to replace Miller on the Commission with someone else. A long discussion ensued on whether the new councilmember should have such power or not.

At one point, Fuhrman offered a motion to prohibit the new councilmember from having the ability to appoint a new planning commissioner, thereby protecting Miller's seat. However Karen Feld, the City Attorney, explained that there's a city ordinance empowering a city councilmember with appointing a planning commissioner. At that point, the council voted to allow the new councilmember to replace Miller if he or she chooses.

The evening's discussion did not go on without input from the public. Eleven people took the podium, some demanding that Marc Miller be appointed to council, one person endorsing Carol Sullivan, and others advocating some kind of application process. Alyssa Twyman, Fred Twyman's daughter, took to the podium and spoke on behalf of her mother Carolyn Tywman, recommending either Marc Miller or Chris Thomas, another planning commissioner, be considered, explaining that both shared Twyman's views.

But the discussion finally ended with all four councilmembers voting unanimously in favor of Kuenzi's proposal.

Anyone wishing to become a city councilmember should contact City Hall starting tomorrow, July 20, and submit an application. They have until July 28 to do so.

Contact City Hall at (951) 672-6777, or visit them at 29714 Haun Rd. Menifee, CA 92586.

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