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City Clerk accepting resumes, letters of interests to fill Ward 3 council seat

City Clerk accepting resumes, letters of interests to fill Ward 3 council seat

Paul Durham

Paul Durham announced that he will resign from the Tucson City Council, effective March 1, due to personal circumstances.

The City of Tucson is accepting resumes and letters of interest from eligible Ward 3 residents who want to fill the soon-to-be vacant seat on the City Council.

Paul Durham, who has represented Ward 3 since 2017, announced earlier this month that he would resign effective March 1. Durham was on leave for several months last year after sustaining multiple rib fractures and announcing that his husband was undergoing treatment for terminal cancer.

Anyone who is interested in filling the seat for the remainder of the term should submit a resume and letter of interest to the Tucson City Clerk by Friday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. The person selected must be a resident of Tucson for the last three years and a resident of Ward 3 for the last year. The ward is made up of many neighborhoods on the city’s northwest side, such as Flowing Wells, Amphi, Campus Farm and Balboa Heights.

According to the City Attorney’s office, the appointee could fill the seat for either 10 months or close to two years, depending on a decision by the Arizona Supreme Court about Tucson’s election dates.

Earlier this month, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero proposed the appointment of former council member Karin Uhlich to fill the seat. Uhlich served as the Ward 3 representative for three terms before deciding to step down in 2017. According to city officials, several other people have already submitted their letter of interest

Eligible candidates will each be allowed a five minute presentation during a special council meeting on Monday, March 1 at 5:30 p.m. The council will appoint someone to the council seat that evening, despite some pushback from Councilmember Steve Kozachik and Paul Cunningham.

“That isn’t transparency. That doesn’t give the community a chance to provide their input,” Cunningham said. “I’m not comfortable at all with moving that fast.”

Mayor Romero and Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz, however, pointed to the fact that the city charter gives the council the authority to fill a vacant seat and that the current climate calls for the seat to be filled sooner rather than later.

“I believe that after we hear from those that are interested, it is of utmost importance that we fill the seat to make sure that on March 1, the voters and residence of Ward 3 have a voice and a seat at the table.” Romero said.

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Jasmine joined the Star in 2019. With a master’s degree in journalism, Jasmine served in a variety of leadership roles, including The Daily Wildcat's editor-in-chief. She was also named Outstanding Newsperson of the Year by the UA School of Journalism.

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