Gainesville City Commission beginning process to fill vacant seat

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT
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Gainesville commissioners are already preparing to fill the seat of Commissioner Gail Johnson following her resignation Monday.

The Gainesville City Commission meets at 6 PM Thursday evening for a general policy meeting, where they will discuss how to proceed with a special election.

Commission vacancies are filled in two ways. Each depends on how much time is left in a given commissioner’s term.

If less than six months remain in the term, the remaining commission votes on a successor to fill-in until a new commissioner is elected.

But in this case, more than six months remain on Commissioner Johnson’s term and no general election is scheduled in the same time frame.

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In this case, the commission fills the vacancy by holding a special election, which must be held within 60 days of receiving the resignation in writing.

This is not an unprecedented situation in Gainesville.

In 2010, Commissioner Jack Donovan resigned from his his seat and city commissioners appointed Warren Neilsen until the next general election in the spring of 2011.

Commissioner Johnson says her last board meeting is scheduled for September 23rd. Her last day at city hall will be a week later.

We’ll update you on how the commission moves forward after the meeting Thursday.

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