As the first item of business on the Jan. 19 Saratoga Town Council, former councilwoman D’Ron Campbell was reappointed by Mayor Creed James to fill the last remaining empty council.
Campbell served five months as an appointed council member on the previous council as a result of her appointment by Mayor John Zeiger. She was appointed to fill the vacancy that was created when Councilman Steve Wilcoxson was killed in a boating accident on the North Platte River this past May.
Campbell was appointed at the Aug. 4, 2020 council meeting, too late for her to stand for election; it ended with the seating of two new councilmen at the Jan. 5 meeting.
This last empty seat was created when James, who won his council seat in last November’s election, was appointed to be mayor a few minutes after being seated as a town councilman at that meeting.
The previous mayor, Zeiger, had resigned his seat this past August, making it too late for that seat to be placed on the 2020 primary ballot. Because of disagreements on the previous council, the mayor’s seat remained unfilled until the new council was seated this month.
Campbell was one of three Saratoga residents to submit letters of interest in filling that empty seat.
One of the other two, Ronald Hutchins, submitted a letter of interest for the council seat. A Saratoga homeowner since 1970, Hutchins now lives and works from home here in Saratoga. He has a Construction Management degree from U W School of Engineering and submitted a three-page resume listing jobs and projects he managed around North America as well as four plus years overseas.
He also listed his past membership in the local volunteer fire department, the Lions Club and “am a Past Master of the Masonic Lodge,” as his local involvement.
“I see this vacancy as a chance to serve the town and I offer my services and my experience to that end,” said Hutchins in his letter.
Town resident Marty Blake also submitted a letter of interest. Blake provided few details about his time and employment in Saratoga. His letter discussed his passion for humanity and his belief in service. He listed his occupation as, “I am a writer, inventor, theorist, drafter, teacher, musician, music teacher, daycare provider and an artist in all forms… I am dedicated to serving my community and my culture.”
The council entered a 45-minute Executive Session to interview the three persons seeking to fill the empty council seat. Upon returning to public session Campbell was nominated by Councilman Ben Spalding and seconded by Councilman Jon Nelson, to fill the vacancy and was confirmed by the four sitting councilmen. Mayor James thanked the other two applicants for submitting their names for consideration.
Danny Bura who ran for office in the last election and placed third in the vote tally did not submit a letter of interest for this empty seat.
Campbell’s appointment is to a four-year seat and there was no discussion as to whether she will serve the full four years or just two years until the next election.