Mayor calls for 'open' interviews to fill Marchione vacancy
By Christina Sampson
Maricopa residents have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to apply to fill a seat on the city council left vacant with the Oct. 16 resignation of Councilman Alan Marchione.
Applications will be reviewed by council members and Mayor Christian Price has suggested if there are 10 or fewer applicants selected for an interview, they be interviewed publicly.
“I want this to be as open and transparent as possible for the selection process,” Price said. However, any legal and human resources matters would be discussed in executive session.
Price also said the interview process should be its own meeting and not simply part of the council’s regular meeting or work session.
“You’re literally picking the councilmember that’s going to represent the city of Maricopa, 45,000 people, unelected, for the next two years,” Price said. “So it’s something that I think we deserve to put the time into and to do it right.”
The council will appoint the new member to serve the remainder of Marchione’s term or until the next regular city council election in November 2014. The appointed member will be allowed to run in that election.
Written applications, which include essay questions, can be submitted to city hall along with a resume, letters of recommendation and any additional materials.
The application can be downloaded from the city’s website.Marchione resigned amid an initiated recall attempt and several public calls for his resignation, all of which followed in the wake of a complaint against him alleging inappropriate workplace conduct.
The allegations, leveled by various city employees, included Marchione having unwelcomed, sexually explicit conversations with City Manager Brenda Fischer and prompting some city employees to believe their jobs were threatened.
The city hired Attorney Bill Sims to investigate the claims and although Sims’ final report said Marchione was “abrasive,” it ultimately concluded Marchione did not sexually harass or threaten employees.