A former vice mayor and city council member ranked as the top choice of a special nominating committee charged with recommending a replacement for the late Mickey McClure. Using a special matrix that city administrators use to fill job openings within the municipal organization, the nominating committee ranked former Vice Mayor Kathy Bruck as the most qualified with a score of 93.86 out of 100 points.
The committee interviewed the eight people vying for McClure’s vacant seat on the city council during a special meeting on Monday. Once the interviews were completed, committee members scored each candidate according to the matrix, which was then tabulated by city administrators. In accordance with city code, the nominating committee ranked the top five candidates, which will now be forwarded to the city council for consideration.
Following Bruck in the rankings were, former Mt. Vernon, Wash. City councilwoman and current Bullhead City Planning and Zoning Commissioner Norma Brummett (86.88), retired Bullhead City Fire Department PIO Larry Tunforss (84.00), Bullhead Area Transit System Commissioner Heather Brennan (83.96), and former Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce president Annette Wegmann (77.60).
Nichole Huseman, Barbara Pape and Mike Villigran were also interviewed.
The city council is expected to make a formal appointment at their regularly scheduled meeting on Apr. 5. Councilmembers are under no legal obligation to follow the nominating committee’s recommendations.
Whomever is appointed by the city council will serve—at least for the next eight months. Arizona state law requires that the final two years remaining on McClure’s term be put on the ballot in this year’s election cycle. Brennan, Brummett and Wegmann are all running for that two-year term. The winner of that race will take office after the November election.
Bruck and Tunforss are running for one of the four seats that are normally up for election this year, each with a four-year term. Bruck served on the city council from 2007 until 2014 and left after making an unsuccessful bid for Mayor. Tunforss was also unsuccessful in his bid for a seat on the city council in 2014.
The nominating committee process was instituted by city ordinance in 2008 after the city council was tasked with making its fourth city council appointment in as many years. The new process was designed to give the public more opportunity to provide input into the selection process and create greater transparency.
It was a process that those who served on the nominating committee believed was fair and worked very well.
“I think this was a very fair process in the way the numbers were compiled so that there was no possibility of favoritism,” said committee member Jamie Starr.
“It does work,” said former city council member Dale Collins, who served as chairman of the nominating committee.
“It was not easy,” he added. “I think going forward the people in the city should understand that it is a process that works.”