Public forum weighed for council candidates

November 12, 1993

The Manchester Board of Elections Supervisors may hold a public forum to allow Town Council members to interview candidates for the council vacancy, Town Manager Terry L. Short said yesterday.

The town charter gives council members the duty of choosing a person to fill a midterm council vacancy.

The four remaining council members have voted six times in three council meetings in an effort to fill the seat of former Councilman John A. Riley, who resigned Oct. 12. Each of the six ballots produced a 2-2 vote.

At Tuesday's meeting, Councilwoman Charlotte Collett said that when she was appointed to the council in 1990, she and other candidates for that council vacancy were interviewed in executive session by the council members. She said she had since been told that practice was illegal.

Mr. Short said yesterday that he had asked Town Attorney Charles O. Fisher Jr. whether the council could interview candidates in closed session and that Mr. Fisher had said that would be illegal.

Dec. 7 has been set as the tentative date for the public forum, which would be televised, Mr. Short said.

The forum will be canceled if a council member is selected at the Nov. 23 council meeting.

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