The Chandler City Council faces many complex issues — and one no-brainer. But the no-brainer has the mayor and several members of the council tied in knots.
The issue is who will stand in for Councilman Martin Sepulveda while he is defending our security and our rights as a Naval reserve officer for the next six months in Iraq.
Mind you, he isn’t just stepping out for a coffee break or because he’s tired of the municipal hassles. He is performing a vital duty for our country and for the values we hold dear. One of those values, of course, is the right of a free people to elect the representatives of their choice to guide government at every level.
Sepulveda ran for election with a very specific set of objectives. And while many voters had other ideas, Sepulveda won election to a seat on the City Council. And now, as he prepares to depart for the perils of Iraq, he has asked his colleagues on the Chandler City Council to appoint a stand-in who would honor the values and the objectives he has embraced.
That person is former Mayor Jim Patterson.
Patterson is not without his detractors. But he is eminently qualified to fill in for Sepulveda during his absence — which is all that should matter.
Mayor Boyd Dunn and others on the council have other ideas.
They have advocated a consensus approach to filling the vacancy that would open it to all comers, with the selection made through a deliberative process. What we suspect, though, is that they really want someone who isn’t quite as outspoken as Sepulveda on municipal issues.
This is not the time to play politics with Sepulveda’s replacement. Honor the man’s wishes and appoint Jim Patterson to stand in for him.
And then pray for his safe return from Iraq when his vital — and hazardous — mission is compete.