South Ward Councilman Jim Coston will resign prior to Sept. 2 to allow voters to pick a successor in a November special election to fill the remainder of his term, which ends on June 30, 2010, according to The Trentonian’s L.A. Parker.
The decision came after Mr. Coston’s chosen successor, J. Carlos Avila, voiced support for the councilman to allow for an election and reconsider a decision to resign on Sept. 2, which would have meant a City Council-appointed successor would have filled the seat until the winner of the May 2010 election entered office.
Mr. Coston originally said he was concerned that a resignation made effective before Sept. 2 would have meant the South Ward would have gone without representation until the special election.
The truth, however, is that City Council members can still appoint a successor to fill the seat even with a November election. The councilman, who won his seat in the May 2006 election on a platform of challenging the Palmer administration and changing City Council, was apparently unaware of that fact.
That revelation casts doubt on the legal advice he may have been receiving from either the city’s attorneys or his own counsel.
A special election could see South Ward residents Patricia Stewart, Juan Martinez, J. Carlos Avila, Paul Harris, and others throw their hat in the ring.