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Council to fill seat Thursday


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POSTED: Saturday, May 29, 2010

Candidates hoping to fill the vacancy on the City Council will get a job interview of sorts at a special committee hearing Thursday, when a potential successor is likely to be picked.

“;We want to invite all the candidates to come and make a presentation and be available for questions from members that day,”; Council Chairman Todd Apo said yesterday. “;The goal is going to be to come out with a resolution that has a specific name in it.”;

The candidate would then be voted on by the full Council at its next meeting June 9.

Apo has asked for names of nominees to be submitted to his office by Tuesday. The list of candidates is in the double digits, but Apo declined to release names until the deadline.

The Council will prepare a list of questions for the candidates.

Having a single candidate selected in advance of the June 9 meeting gives that person time to meet all legal requirements—including securing a $25,000 surety bond as required by law.

The vacancy in District 4 (Waikiki-East Oahu) was created by last Saturday's election of Charles Djou to Congress. Because Djou had less than a year left on his term, it is up to the Council to appoint a successor.

Meanwhile, the Council also is preparing for the pending vacancy in the mayor's office.

Now that Mayor Mufi Hannemann has indicated he is running for governor, he is required by law to resign before filing for the race. The deadline for that is July 20, and Hannemann said he plans to remain in office until then.

Because the vacancy would occur within 180 days of the next regularly scheduled election, the special election could be held in tandem with that election.

Once the mayor resigns, the Council has 10 days to meet and call for a special election.

Candidates would then have a time period—past practice has been 10 days—to declare for the race, Apo said.

Apo said he is hopeful the candidate filing process can be completed in time to get names to the state in time to have them included on the Sept. 18 primary election ballot.

The mayoral race is likely to create another vacancy requiring a special election, because city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle has indicated he will run for the mayor's office once it is vacated.

Once that office is vacated, the Council would again have to meet and declare another special election and allow candidates to file for that office.

If that process cannot be completed in time to get names to the Office of Elections for the primary, the special election for prosecutor would then be held in tandem with the general election in November.