By Staff –
Syracuse Common Councilor Khalid Bey is seeking the appointment of Lanessa Owens, director of the New Start program at the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, to fill the at-large seat formerly held by current Council President Helen Hudson.
Hudson vacated the seat in November, after she was elected as president of the council.
And, now, through a selection process that has become somewhat controversial, Bey has proposed legislation to appoint Owens to the seat, while several others, including former Green Party candidate Frank Cetera, have also submitted resumes to the city in an effort to fill the position.
Cetera, a former councilor-at-large candidate, called on the council in November to appoint the appropriate candidate by using a fair and transparent selection process.
“All of the council and mayoral candidates this campaign season have made a large deal about government access, transparency, and constituent services at the public forums we have all participated in,” he stated. “They now need to demonstrate that by demanding proper open process for the appointment of this seat.”
Currently, the city is in the process of reviewing resumes to fill the position, and the council has also discussed Owen’s appointment during a special study session recently.
“The process is determined by the council, and as of yet we have not decided on the process,” Hudson said in response to Cetera’s statement. “[The charter] states that the council makes the choice. There is nothing in the charter dictating any process.”
The city’s deadline for applicants to send in resumes was Dec. 29, and, ultimately, the person the council chooses will hold the seat until November, and then face re-election to keep the position for the remainder of the term.