By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia
Surprise leaders tonight chose a replacement to fill the remaining vacancy on their panel.
City Council on a 5-1 vote appointed David Sanders to represent District 5 at their Jan. 3 regular meeting at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.
Mr. Sanders was selected from among eight candidates who stepped forward to interview for the position at a Dec. 20 special meeting.
Mayor Skip Hall praised the pool of candidates who applied for the appointment, which in addition to Mr. Sanders included Aaron Bacon, Leo Mankiewicz, Charles Manuel, Eddie Cunningham, John Hastings and Christina Ramirez.
“I was so impressed with the candidates, just from a diversity standpoint and what they all had in common was a genuine, authentic interest in contributing to our city,” Mr. Hall said. “I think it just speaks volumes when you have eight people step up for an appointment.”
Of the eight applicants, two were nominated at the Thursday meeting: Mr. Cunningham by District 2 Councilwoman Nancy Hayden and Mr. Sanders by Vice Mayor Ken Remley of District 4.
Without further discussion, the panel voted by paper ballot, with all votes going to Mr. Sanders except that cast by Ms. Hayden.
City Clerk Sherry Aguilar then administered the oath of office to Mr. Sanders, who immediately took his seat at the dais.
Mr. Sanders is a vice president and portfolio manager for National Bank of Arizona who holds a master’s degree in business administration in international business and finance from ASU.
Prior to his council appointment, he volunteered as a panelist on the Community and Recreation Services Commission since 2013 and on the Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee since 2015.
The District 5 role had been vacant since City Council voted to elevate Skip Hall to mayor following the resignation of Sharon Wolcottt in November (“Surprise council selects new mayor; Hall gets unanimous support to fill role through 2020,” YourValley.net, Nov. 20, 2018).
Another new councilman, Chris Judd, was also sworn in, officially taking the District 6 seat following his 54 percent victory over incumbent Todd Tande in a three-way race decided in the August 2018 primary election “Early results show winners, runoffs in West Valley local races,” YourValley.net, Aug. 28, 2018).
Also sworn in tonight were incumbent District 1 Councilman Roland F. Winters Jr., who emerged victorious following a runoff election in November, as well as District 3 Councilman Patrick Duffy and Ms. Hayden, who won their first terms on council after serving as appointees in 2018.
Mr. Winters sounded an optimistic note about the council, now at full strength, and what he expects they may achieve.
“I’m really excited tonight with this new council,” Mr. Winters said. “I think this year is going to really make some strides for our city of Surprise.”