Eight apply to fill Rifle council vacancy
RIFLE — At the deadline of noon Friday, the city had received eight applications to fill the City Council seat vacated by former councilor Hans Parkinson, who resigned from his position last week.
The board had originally intended to make the appointment for Parkinson’s replacement at the next council meeting Thursday.
“But with this many applications, they may decide to interview each candidate, said Town Clerk Lisa Cain. “They actually have until the Sept. 17 meeting to make the appointment.”
Parkinson had served 11 months of his four-year term before recently selling his home and moving out of the area.
Parkinson’s resignation from the board did not come as a huge surprise to other members, who had known that his water hauling business, which relied heavily on the oil and gas industry, had slowed.
He is living in Vernal, Utah, where he grew up.
The person appointed as his replacement will serve for one year until the next election.
“We’re not trying to clone Hans, but we’re looking for someone who wants to give back to the community and make good decisions for the citizens of Rifle,” said Mayor Randy Winkler.
Winkler said the last time a council person left before their term expired was about 13 years ago up when two members of the board resigned with only four months left to serve. Keith Lambert and Ed Weiss were appointed to fill the positions and at the next election, Lambert chose to run and Weiss did not.
“Keith not only was elected, but was appointed as mayor,” Winkler said.
At the Aug. 20 council meeting, board members expressed their gratitude for Parkinson’s service.
“Hans comes across as a tough oil and gas worker, but he’s really not, “Winkler said. “He’s soft-hearted. He’s donated a lot to charities and to the youth. We’ll miss him.”
The board could do the interviews of the eight candidates at a special workshop meeting that is held the second Wednesday of the month.
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