The Battle Creek City Commission will accept applications to fill the vacant Ward 5 commissioner position.
The position opened when Vice Mayor Dave Walters resigned from the commission, effective Sunday. In his resignation letter to Mayor Mark Behnke, he cited private and professional reasons for leaving the commission.
“I hope the voters of the city and Ward 5 understand this was not an easy decision, and I am thankful for your support, and sorry if this appears that I am letting you down,” Walters said in the letter. “I wish the commissioners the best of luck going forward, and please understand that I truly Believe in Battle Creek.”
At tonight’s regular meeting, the City Commission agreed to receive applications from Ward 5 neighbors interested in holding the commission seat. Applications – and optional letters of interest or other information – are due Friday, July 27 to the City Clerk’s Office, 10 N. Division St., Suite 111, Battle Creek, MI 49014.
The application also is available as a fillable PDF, or as an online web form, at the city’s website – battlecreekmi.gov/boardsandcommissions. Applications will be reviewed to ensure individuals meet the qualifications of office, as set out in the city charter, such as living within the boundaries of Ward 5.
The commission will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31 to interview qualified candidates. Those individuals also will be able to make a brief statement. Commissioners may vote during the special meeting, or schedule additional time to complete the process, if necessary.
Regarding the choice of a new vice mayor, the commission will wait to do so until the vacancy is filled.
The remainder of Walters’ term is through 2020; last year the City Commission approved moving city elections from odd to even years going forward, so those elected in 2017 are serving three-year terms. Starting in 2020, terms will return to two years.
Ward 5 covers the southwest portion of the city. This area is east of West Columbia Avenue, south to Division Drive, and most of the area around Goguac Lake, to Capital Avenue SW to the east. To view a full Ward 5 map, visit battlecreekmi.gov/elections, and scroll down to Wards & Precincts. Ward 5 includes Neighborhood Planning Councils 9 (Rural Southwest), 10 (Westlake/Prairieview), and 11 (Minges Brook/Riverside).