“This just hit us out of the blue,” Mayor Bill Hereford said Tuesday.
After hiring a city manager and clerk for the city, Gossett officially resigned from his council seat, saying he was unable to keep his spot on the council because he was seeking employment.
“I can’t hold this seat and seek other employment,” Gossett said.
The former councilman would not comment about whether or not he is seeking the street superintendent job, which Mike Martin officially retires from on Friday.
“I’m not going to comment at this time,” Gossett said after Monday night’s council meeting. “I have two different opportunities. One would take me out of the city daily, and the other one would keep me in the city daily.”
He said people are currently employed in the jobs he seeks, “so it would be best for me not to comment now.”
Gossett said if his job opportunities fall through, he would run again for the District 1 council spot. Qualifying for the upcoming municipal elections is July 3-17.
In the meantime, Hereford said he was uncertain if the council would fill the vacant council spot.
“We don’t have to fill it,” he said.
However, the mayor said he welcomes any qualified candidates who live in District 1 and who may want to fill the seat for the next four months.
“There’s really no process,” Hereford said.
He said any District 1 resident interested in filling the vacant council seat and who may also run for election is welcome to meet with him at City Hall.
“We could find someone great, and it would give them a head start,” Hereford said. “But we are very close to the end of the term. We only have two months before elections and four months before taking office.”
Municipal elections are Aug. 28. Runoffs are Oct. 9, and newly elected officials will take office Nov. 5.
Councilwoman Dot Wood said she thought the council was required to appoint a new council member.
“I think we have to,” Wood said. “We’re supposed to do it pretty quick.”
Wood said interested candidates should send formal letters of interest to the mayor and council.
“I feel sure that the mayor will look to find someone to replace Greg,” Wood said. “I know there will be some people interested. I just don’t know who they are.”
Wood said she hopes the mayor and council can seat a new member of the council by July 17, the last day to qualify for elections.
“All this is happening very quick,” Wood said.
She said it is possible the council could appoint the winner of the District 1 council race to the council after the Aug. 28 municipal election.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.