By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS —Candidates for the mayoral vacancy will be considered and interviewed during a virtual city council study session at 5 p.m. Jan. 25.
A vote to appoint a new mayor is set for the following day at the council’s 7 p.m. meeting.
As of the Jan. 19 special council meeting, there were five mayoral candidates who submitted applications: Interim Mayor Denise Malinowski-Maxwell, Council Chair Pro Tem Bill Bazzi, Wayne County Commissioner David Knezek, mayor Chief of Staff Krystina Laslo, and resident Anthony Camilleri.
The deadline to apply for candidacy was extended from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20.
City Clerk Lynne Senia said the deadline and guidelines are set by the city council.
Mayor Daniel Paletko died Dec. 29 due to complications from COVID-19 leaving the vacant seat until a November election is held.
Additionally, the city council will need to hold two elections this year, one for a mayoral candidate to serve from November following the election to Dec. 31 and another to select a mayor for the full four-year term starting in January 2022.
At the start of the council’s Jan. 19 special meeting, a vote to approve the agenda — which didn’t have an item that allowed nominations for the mayoral appointment was made.
Councilman Dave Abdallah made the agenda approval motion which was then supported by Councilman Robert Constan.
The agenda approval initially failed due to a 3-3 vote with Malinowski-Maxwell, Constan and Abdallah voting yes while Bazzi, Muscat, and Councilman Tom Wencel voting no.
After the vote was taken, Muscat made a motion to add the mayor appointment nominations to the agenda which was supported by councilman Bazzi.
No vote was called since a discussion was still open following the vote on the motion made by Abdallah. During that time, Wencel changed his vote to yes which approved the special meeting agenda.
When Muscat asked Malinowski-Maxwell what is done with the motion he proposed and was seconded she responded by saying that Abdallah’s motion was first so that overrules everything.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])