[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Here we go again… Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision Tuesday to tap Maria Baier as state land commissioner leaves another vacancy on the Phoenix City Council. Just a few months ago, the council appointed Sal DiCiccio to replace Councilman Greg Stanton, who resigned to take a top job in Attorney General Terry Goddard’s office. Twenty-two people had applied for the vacant seat. Baier, who has represented District 3 on the council since January 2008, plans [resigned] her seat at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The council will have to appoint an interim replacement between June 29 and July 2, according to the city charter.
Those interested in applying for the vacancy should contact the City Clerk’s Office at 602-262-6837. Applicants must be a registered voter and live in the district, which includes the Sunnyslope, Moon Valley, and Shadow Mountain neighborhoods and the area around Paradise Valley Mall. Because Baier has more than one year left on her term, the council must call for a special election no sooner than Nov. 3. Voters in the district will then determine who will complete Baier’s term, which ends in January 2012.
Baier said things happened suddenly. She got a call from the Governor’s Office last Saturday asking for references and other background check information. By Monday, Brewer had offered her the job. The councilwoman said it will be bittersweet leaving the city after such a short time in office. “It was the greatest priviledge of my life to serve the residents of District 3. I haven’t met a more thoughtful and kind group of people in my life,” Baier said. “But I’m going to continue to serve the residents of District 3 and many other folks across the state as state land commissioner.”
Mayor Phil Gordon called Baier “one of our council’s brightest stars” and said her successor will need to be ready on Day 1. “These are challenging times that require strong and immediate leadership,” he said. “I will be supporting the best-qualified candidate to fill a pair of shoes that need to hit the ground running from the first minute of the first day.” [Note: To read the full article and online comments, click here.]