Menifee City Council Makes 11 Nominations to Fill Vacancy

An appointing process to fill the late Fred Twyman’s seat on Menifee City Council was set into moti...

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An appointing process to fill the late Fred Twyman’s seat on Menifee City Council was set into motion July 29 during a special meeting. After spending a week weeding through applications, council members selected 11 candidates to be interviewed for the current vacancy.

Applications were made available to residents after city council opted for an open process to choose a new council member rather than hold another election. The council took more than 20 applications into consideration, and each member made three nominations.

One applicant – retired fast food district supervisor Ellen Schnoor – was selected by both Tom Fuhrman and Darcy Kuenzi. Fuhrman also picked rancher Marc Miller, and brand and business communications manager Susan Kristjansson. Kuenzi’s other two were geologist Chad Warren and executive director of March Joint Powers Authority, Lori Stone.

Mayor Wallace Edgerton chose retired teacher Phoeba Irey, Hemet maintenance supervisor Charles Heintz, and the current chairman of Menifee Planning Commission, Chris Thomas.

John Denver selected semi-retired real estate appraiser Ted Wegener, restaurateur Darci Castillejos, and general contractor Matt Liesemeyer.

A list of the council's 11 nominees who will be interviewed Aug. 2.

Those who applied but weren’t selected were Anthony Amatulli, Jeff Barber, David Iosif, Peter Fogarty, Randall Freeman, Dominick Jacobs, Louis Mazei, Rita Peters, George Rackstraw, Carol Sullivan, and Donald Swain.

Each nominee will have something different to offer city council, if elected. Stone said on her application, “I believe my background in local government and my strong multi-generational ties in Menifee could bring a fresh, broad perspective to city council.” Heintz wrote, “We need to make our city a destination rather than a corridor on the way to somewhere else.” Wegener said, “I’d like to keep business local,” and proposed a program that would waive building permit fees if owners use local contractors and buy their materials locally.

The nominees will be interviewed during the next city council meeting on Aug. 2 and an appointment will be made that night. Candidates will be called up to the stand randomly to give their five-minute speech. Each council member will have three minutes to ask them questions afterwards. Once all candidates are interviewed, council members will each be given a ballot to rank their top three choices. Those selections will be read aloud, tallied on an easel for the audience to see, and a winner will be determined.

If the outcome isn’t clear, the council will go through a series of tiebreakers.