City Council to pick Ward 6 representative on Monday night
(Missoula Current) A Missoula City Council vote on who should represent Ward 6 after the General Election resulted in a tie is scheduled for Monday night, the city said Thursday.
Incumbent council member Sandra Vasecka is seeking another term representing her ward. But challenger Sean Patrick-McCoy is looking to start his first term doing the same.
After a recount earlier this week, the race between the two candidates resulted in a tie, with each receiving 1,476 votes. Under state law, the City Council must select a winner.
The city laid out the process on Thursday, saying council members can only consider the two candidates during voting. That will avoid conflicts that have arisen in past appointments, when at least one council member introduced an outside candidate to avoid picking the leading contender.
Vasecka, who still holds her seat on council until the end of her term, will have a vote on Monday night. If all 12 council members are present, any tie will move voting to a second round.
That process has played out several times over the last decade, sometimes requiring multiple voting rounds before one candidate emerges with a majority vote. The mayor cannot serve as a tiebreaker in cases where council members are filling a vacant City Council seat, according to city legal officials.
Monday night's vote will take place at the end of the City Council meeting under new business.
In recent years, the City Council has appointed a number of council members, but never to resolve a tie. In 2015, it appointed Patrick Weasel Head to fill a vacant seat in Ward 4. Last October, it also appointed Sierra Farmer to represent Ward 2, which took four rounds of voting.
More recently, it also appointed a mayor after the passing of former Mayor John Engen. That also took multiple voting rounds and resulted in a one-hour recess before a final vote was called.