What’s Idaho Code say on vacancy in office?
Idaho code 50-608 reads, “Vacancy in office of mayor. In case of a temporary vacancy in the office of mayor due to absence or disability, the president of the council shall exercise the office of mayor during such disability or temporary absence, and until the mayor shall return. When a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor by reason of death, resignation or permanent disability, the city council shall fill the vacancy from within or without the council as may be deemed in the best interests of the city, which appointee shall serve until the next general city election, at which election a mayor shall be elected for the full four (4) year term.”
WHITE BIRD During the February regular meeting of the White Bird City Council, Homer Brown presided as mayor pro tem after acting mayor Rod Pilant requested a six-month leave of absence. Pilant was unable to attend the meeting because of his declining health, and previously submitted his request to the council.
Pilant was diagnosed with Diffused Systematic Scleroderma in 2008 prior to being elected mayor of the City of White Bird. He announced his early retirement from his job with Wimer Fabrication for health reasons in late September 2016.
He continued to serve as mayor for White Bird, though he did not keep hours in the city office.
At this point, it is unclear when Pilant submitted the request and Brown became mayor pro tem. Minutes for the January city council meeting reflect Pilant was still presiding as mayor.
Idaho law states if a mayor should become disabled or absent, the president of the council has authority to determine who will fill that role. Former city clerk, Nathalie Brake, said in January the council did not have a council president. As of Jan. 13, Brake said Pilant was still acting mayor.
While discussing new business at the Feb. 15 meeting, Brown said, “Rod is still the mayor.”
Should Pilant choose to resign his position as mayor, Justin Ruen, policy analyst with the Association of Idaho Cities, said action would be required in open meeting.
“A mayor must resign in writing or verbally at a city meeting,” he said. “That’s assuming he’s capable of resigning.”
The council would be required to make a motion in open meeting to formally accept the resignation and then appoint someone to fill the mayor’s seat until the next election. The city council then makes a motion on that appointment. If Pilant is incapacitated and unable to submit a resignation, the city council may choose to appoint an acting mayor.