Modesto City Council members Joe Muratore, Brad Hawn and Dave Geer will be heavily involved with choosing a person to fill the unexpired District 5 term of Kristin Olsen.
But Muratore, who will be chairman of the subcommittee that evaluates candidates, said he wants District 5 residents to be involved, too.
He wants to hold interviews with candidates at public meetings in the district. District 5 residents and others attending the meetings will be able to submit questions to the hopefuls, he said.
Olsen will leave the City Council on Nov. 4 to start work as the 25th District state assemblywoman.
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Tuesday, the City Council opted to fill the vacancy by appointment, rather than hold a special election costing $150,000.
Mayor Jim Ridenour appointed the three councilmen to get started with soliciting applications and conducting interviews. Potential appointees must live in District 5, of which the boundaries are roughly Pelandale and Claratina avenues on the north, Briggsmore Avenue on the south, Rose Avenue on the east and Tully Road on the west.
Ridenour said holding the interviews in council chambers at Tenth Street Place would make televising the meetings easy. The subcommittee will try to arrange for televising the meetings and running the interviews online.
The three councilmen will recommend top candidates to the full council Nov. 9, when the council is expected to approve the appointment.
The appointed council member will have to garner votes in the November 2011 election to keep the seat, and if successful, would stand for election again in 2013, according to city charter rules.
Applications for the office were not available Tuesday from the mayor's office or city clerk.
Staff members said they expect the subcommittee will meet first to discuss the workings of the panel and then call for applications. Application forms will be available from the city clerk and the city Web site.
Olsen won re-election to the council seat in November, defeating Joe Cataline. That vote preceded a shake-up among Modesto's representatives in the Legislature that resulted in the Assembly seat held by Tom Berryhill opening unexpectedly.
In another item Tuesday, the City Council approved a job-sharing agreement for planning services with Oakdale and Hughson.
Economic troubles have caused some cities in the region to seek alternatives such as sharing staff with other agencies. Oakdale and Hughson do not have enough growth demand to keep full-time planners on staff.
Under the agreement, Modesto will loan an associate planner to Oakdale and a senior planner to Hughson. Both will work part-time. Modesto gets $84,330 in revenue.
City Manager Greg Nyhoff said Modesto was close to laying off the two planners this summer before the smaller cities expressed an interest in job sharing.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2321.