SIERRA VISTA — And then there were four.
That’s the number of applicants left Thursday afternoon after City Council members pared down a list of 22 people who expressed an interest in taking the vacated seat on the dais left by former city councilwoman Sarah Pacheco.
The City Council met in executive session Thursday to review and reduce the list of applicants interested in taking Pacheco’s spot on the panel. Pacheco served for 2½ years, but was forced to resign about three weeks ago after she sold her Sierra Vista residence and purchased a house in Hereford.
Initially, Pacheco thought she and her family were moving to Tucson for her husband’s government contracting job. But at the last minute Pacheco said her husband’s firm decided he could work remotely and the family did not have to leave the area. Pacheco said she and her husband could not find a house big enough for their family in the city.
By law, once a member of the City Council closes on a property that is not within city limits, he or she must resign from the City Council, Pacheco said.
Wednesday afternoon was the deadline for anyone interested in being considered for Pacheco’s spot.
Council members met in a closed session and looked over the lengthy list, finally settling on four people.
“We came up with some very interesting applicants,” Mayor Rick Mueller said at the City Council meeting Thursday. “We will be notifying them (the applicants) shortly.”
Participants of an executive session are not allowed, by law, to discuss what occurred in the meeting.
Next, council members will interview the four applicants individually. Once they reach a consensus on the person they’d like to appoint, they will vote on it at a public meeting, said City Clerk Jill Adams.
The newly-appointed council member will sit on the panel until the next election cycle, Adams said. The person can run to be elected onto the City Council or bow out. Pacheco’s term ends in December 2022.
The identities of the four applicants chosen from the list were not revealed Thursday because the city wants to notify them before their names appear publicly. Adams said she thinks the names will be released Tuesday.
The list of names of the 22 people who applied for consideration was released to the Herald/Review, and some of them include individuals who ran for a seat on the City Council in November, such as Daman Malone and Frank Rich.
Another applicant, Craig Mount, was on the city council a few years ago. Local insurance agent Misty Briseno threw her name into the competition, as did Robert Karp, who lost a bid for the Arizona State Senate District 14 in November, losing to incumbent David Gowan.
A retired teacher whose husband is a Sierra Vista firefighter is also among the list of applicants.
The 22 people who applied for Pacheco’s seat besides Malone, Rich, Mount, Briseno and Karp are Mark Amsdell, Joseph Arsenault, Joseph Balais, Angelo Bovara, Sandra Calhoun, Christopher Hale, Wesley Hewitt, Samuel Johnson, Walter Kane, Jessica Kunkel, Casey Mellen, Ruben Miranda, Lourdes Montoya-Murphy, Russell Robertson, Mark Rodriguez, Kevin Weston and Diana Wilcox.