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COQUILLE — After multiple failed votes, the Coquille City Council on Monday agreed it would table a motion to appoint a new city council member following the resignation of former Councilman Mike Layton.

The council will reconsider the motion at its next regularly scheduled meeting which is set to take place on Monday, July 6. Last month, Layton submitted his resignation letter to the council, in which he cited that he was no longer able to fulfill his duties as a city councilor.

As previously reported in The World, the City of Coquille issued a public notice on May 19 announcing the vacancy and its search for residents looking to serve the remainder of Layton’s term, which was set to end Dec. 31, 2022.

Four candidates were interviewed at Monday’s meeting — Coquille residents Paul Reconzone, Maria Heskett, John Cooper and Dave Chappelle. The candidates talked about their interest in joining the council and provided council members their qualifications for the job.

After hearing from the candidates, the council voted via paper ballot on which candidate they wanted to appoint to Layton’s seat. Councilmen Kyle Wirebaugh and Matte Rowe voted for Chappelle while Councilwomen Julie Nighswonger, Anna Parker and Mayor Kathryn Simonetti voted for Reconzone. Councilman Hugh Pinkston was not in attendance.  

With a split decision, the council discussed the reasoning behind their individual votes with the hopes of coming to a consensus on selecting a candidate. During deliberations, Reconzone withdrew his candidacy and told councilors that he’d like to throw his support to fellow candidate John Cooper.

In a second vote, Wirebaugh and Rowe once again voted for Chappelle and Nighswonger, Parker and Simonetti voted for Cooper. A third vote was made by the council which yielded the same results.

A motion was made by Wirebaugh to table the appointment of a new city council member to the next meeting as a way to give the council more time to consider the candidates and to allow for Pinkston, who was absent, to cast a vote.

All the candidates will be reconsidered and a vote is likely to occur in July.

Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-6039 or by email at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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