Councilmember says the council was not provided information on the candidate.

The Rolla City Council filled a vacancy on the 12-member governmental body after one councilmember said the council was not provided information on the candidate.

Rolla Mayor Louis Magdits requested at Rolla City Council’s November meeting that Carrolyn Bolin fill the council position to represent the constituents in Rolla Ward 5 after former Ward 5 City Councilmember Jim Williams died on Oct. 16.

Mayor Magdits said in his 26 years as an elected official this is the third or fourth time there’s been a seat vacated during an unexpired term. In this case, only a few months left before residents will decide in the 2020 General Municipal Election.

“In any event, I am generally going to default to a person who previously held one of these elected seats because there is experience filling that seat,” Magdits said. “In Carrolyn’s case, she is no surprise to Ward 5 citizens who previously elected her.”

Councilmember David Schott said he wanted to make a quick comment before the council voted.

Schott said councilmembers did find out they would confirm someone to fill the vacant seat in their packet over the weekend — but there wasn't any information about who the candidate was, which is generally provided for the council when councilmembers are asked to confirm appointments to positions within the city’s government.

“For this kind of appointment, it just seemed to me that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to at least look over who it’s going to be, so we can in our role, in advise, in consent of the council, have a little bit of a clear picture of who we are confirming,” Schott said.

Schott asked if it was possible to have until the next council meeting to get together a brief biography and information about the candidate before the council appointed someone to fill the vacant seat.

Mayor Magdits said there must have been a miscommunication on his part and thought Bolin’s name was in the packet. Yet, with other appointments, if someone was new to a board, commission or council, Magdits said he would certainly have a biography available on the candidate.

“I guess I just assumed in this particular case that she has held this position before and that she would be well known to the people of her ward,” Magdits said. He added that the council could defer his request.

Councilmember Jody Eberly made a motion to accept the mayor's request, which was seconded by the council. The council in a 10-2 vote confirmed the mayor’s request to appoint Bolin into the position on the Rolla City Council as Councilmember for Ward 5. Bolin was then sworn in.

Bolin previously held one of the council positions in Ward 5 and is also a member of the Rolla Housing Authority. The Rolla City Council now has a majority of Rolla women serving on the council. The City Council now has seven councilmembers who are women and five councilmembers who are men until the April 2020 election.