There’s a lot of uncertainty about what will happen to Geneva City Councilor John Pruett’s seat when his resignation becomes official.
The elected member of City Council announced earlier this year that he was resigning amid a number of controversial issues, which was ultimately walked back and delayed. He cited health concerns as a major reason for his resignation- and stress of serving on the tumultuous council.
This won’t be the first time City Council has to figure out a replacement for the Ward 6 seat. In 2019 when longtime Councilor John Greco died, City Council debated who should fill the seat. It was in the midst of an election season, so neither party could agree on who to fill-in until Dana Hollenbeck (who was not on the ticket) was suggested.
Mayor Steve Valentino tells the Finger Lakes Times he’s not sure how this will play out. “Neither party has contacted me with any suggestions, possibly because the seat is not technically vacant until Dec. 31,” Valentino said. “At that point, any name can be brought forward for a vote of the City Council as allowed in the charter. I expect that process to start at our Jan. 5 meeting.”
Meanwhile, City Democratic Chair Larry Campbell said the process is underway. “We have been working with councilors (Jan) Regan and (Laura) Salamendra, and they now have two or three names to work with,” he told the Times. “They will be managing the process of getting those names considered, and I am leaving that up to them. I presume that they will not want to release the names before caucusing with fellow councilors.”
Ward 2 Councilor Paul D’Amico told the FLT that a few names have been thrown around, but the process is still early. “We have big shoes, literally, to fill with the departure of John Pruett in the Sixth Ward,” D’Amico explained. “Several highly qualified and interested candidates have emerged and others may well be brought to Council’s attention. It is my hope that we can accept nominations and decide on a good process for moving forward at our January session.”
RELATED: Read John Pruett’s resignation letter to Geneva City Council leadership (FingerLakes1.com)
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