Westminster City Council was not able to fill a vacant council seat after 99 rounds of voting, topping the council’s previous 78-round voting record.
During a 2 1/2-hour special meeting on Monday, the six-member council cycled through eight finalists who were vying for a seventh seat on the dais. Since no finalist received a majority vote by council, voters will choose the seventh councilor in November’s municipal election, leaving an evenly split council on its own for the next five months.
“While I do not look forward to governing for a period of five months without an additional member of council to help put their finger on the scale to help determine policy and budget decisions, I feel like this is turning into … I don’t see a path,” Mayor Anita Seitz said during the meeting.
The coming months will prove challenging to a council that is politically and ideologically split on several issues. On one side is Seitz and Councilors Kathryn Skulley and Jon Voelz, who are all Democrats and support the city’s current structure for water rates. The rates are a sensitive issue in the community, resulting in the three being targets of a recall campaign that began last fall.
On the other side is Mayor Pro Tem David DeMott and Councilors Rich Seymour and Lindsey Smith, who are all Republicans. They support lowering water rates and are considered allies of the Westminster Water Warriors, the recall group.