Help wanted at Oskaloosa City Hall
by Dennis Sharkey
City elections for Oskaloosa are still more than six months away but the help wanted sign is in the window now.
For at least the past eight months Oskaloosa City Councilman James Malsbury has been absent from council meetings. The last time Malsbury appeared at a meeting was in March but showed up late and was only there for the end of the meeting.
This summer Mayor Mike Boyd was asked about Malsbury’s situation and at that time he didn’t offer much of an explanation except that Malsbury was busy.
Councilman Mike Paavola last week asked Boyd about Malsbury’s status and said that he spoke to him recently about the situation.
“He said if we could find anybody, put them on there, cause he just doesn’t have the time,” Paavola said.
Boyd said that Malsbury indicated to him recently the same thing and that he asked Malsbury for a letter of resignation so that his position could be filled.
By state statute the only way Malsbury can be replaced is by a recall election if the councilman decides that he doesn’t want to resign. Boyd said Malsbury told him he would submit his resignation but as of last Thursday Boyd had not received a letter.
“I didn’t ask him to resign, but I asked him about the situation,” Boyd said.
Finding a candidate to replace Malsbury could be challenging according to Boyd. He said no one he feels comfortable appointing to the position has stepped up with any seriousness. Paavola said no one has solicited him as well.
Malsbury’s term on the council expires in May along with Councilwoman Kelly Hattemer’s and Boyd’s positions. The filing deadline to run for office is Jan. 25. Potential candidates must file an application with a $5 fee or submit a petition signed by 10 percent of the electorate of the last election, which would be 12 voters.
Candidates must be registered to vote and a resident of the city at the time they take office.
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