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photo credit: Courtesy the City of Cotati
Several seats on city councils around the county are up for election in November. But one city is cancelling its next council election. 
Cotati mayor Mark Landman and council member John Moore both announced their retirements earlier this year.
 
Those two retirements opened the seats for full, four-year terms on the Cotati city council, and triggered an extended nomination process for prospective candidates.
 
Cotati city manager Damien O’Bid described where things stand following the close of the nomination period on August 17th.
 
"At the end of the nomination period we had for two seats, we had two qualified candidates, Kathleen Rivers and Sylvia Lemus." O'Bid said. "This then brought up the question about whether we need to have an election or not."
 
With only two nominated candidates - for two vacant seats - Cotati had the option to run two uncontested elections, or simply appoint the seats.
 
John Bakker, attorney for the city, said the appointments could potentially cause issues in the future if there is an unexpected vacancy on the council
 
"If those two council members were considered to be appointed, you are precluded from appointing somebody." Bakker said. "If it would cause a majority of the council to be appointed. So you would be forced to either leave it vacant or call a special election."
 
Another concern raised is the cost of holding a special election if needed. O'Bid, though, said the price difference would be minor.
 
"The bottom line is the, the maximum delta that we got is about $10,000 between a regular and a special election." O'Bid said. "So in other words, the regular election that is in the packet, the range is $11,000 to $34,000. Special election range would be 22 to 37."
 
Ultimately, the Cotati city council voted to cancel their city council election this November and appoint Rivers and Lemus to the city council for four year terms beginning in December.
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