The Oro Valley Town Council gave a send off to an old friend at its Feb. 24 special session.
His peers lauded Councilman Al Kunisch, who recently resigned, for his years of service to the town.
Reading a proclamation dedicated to Kunisch, Mayor Paul Loomis said the councilman had been a tireless champion for Oro Valley.
"Al Kunisch devoted countless hours to the community," Loomis said.
The mayor also presented Kunisch with a key to the town and an ornamental bowl, representative of the councilman's support of the arts in Oro Valley.
"Council member Kunisch has served with the best interest of the community in his heart," Loomis said.
After accepting the accolades, Kunisch thanked fellow council members and the audience. He also shook hands and hugged all the town department heads present at the meeting.
Kunisch resigned at the Feb. 17 town council meeting, citing his wife Pamela's health. Pamela has been undergoing treatment for cancer at a clinic in Scottsdale.
His departure leaves a vacancy the council plans to fill.
The council decided later at its Wednesday meeting to open an application process to find a temporary replacement. Council members unanimously approved advertising the temporary appointment to town residents.
Interested applicants must live in the town, be at least 18 years old and be qualified electors.
The deadline for applying is March 5 at noon. The council also decided to hold a special session on March 12 at 1 p.m. to discuss applicants and possibly make an appointment. The appointee would serve until the expiration of Kunisch's term on June 2.
With three council positions and the mayoral post up for grabs in an election currently under way, the question arises about what to do about candidates already running.
According to the election schedule, the primary could determine winner of some of the seats. During the primary, which ends March 9, candidates who receive more than 50 percent of the vote total automatically win the seat.
In the event one or more candidates win their sought-after seats, the council could consider appointing one of the winners to the seat previously held by Kunisch. That possibility was not discussed at the meeting.
Primary Election: March 9
Ballots were mailed to registered voters beginning Feb. 11. They must be physically in hand at the town clerk's office by 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, according to Town Clerk Kathy Cuvilier.
"If you don't get it in the mail the Friday before," Cuvilier suggests residents physically carry ballots to the Pima County Recorder's Office, or to the town clerk's office on La Cañada. "We will be open until 7 p.m. March 9 for people to drop off their ballots," she said. "Postmark does not count."
General Election: May 18
Ballots mailed to registered voters around April 14.
Early voting begins April 15.
Voter registration deadline is April 19.
Candidates not elected with a majority of the votes cast in the primary election will run in the May run-off election.
Only candidates equal to twice the number of seats open can run in May run-off. For example, if three seats are open, the six top vote getters will be on the run-off ballot.
New council members take office on June 2.
For more information, call the town clerk's office at 229-4700.
For information about voter registration or to request an early ballot contact the Pima County Recorder's Office at 740-4330 or by logging on to the recorder's Website at www.recorder.pima.gov.
Want to be a councilman?
The town of Oro Valley is accepting letters of interest and resumes from Oro Valley residents to fill an unexpired town council term after the resignation of Councilman Al Kunisch.
The council plans to appoint one applicant. The term of office will run until June 2. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must be a resident in Oro Valley for a minimum of one year.
Letters of interest accompanied by a resume must be submitted to the town clerk by noon this Friday, March 5. The town council will review applications in closed session. Interviews will not be conducted, nor will applicants be permitted to make presentations to council prior to review.
A special session is scheduled for Friday, March 12 at 1 p.m., at which time the council will review applications and possibly take action.
Materials should be forwarded to the town clerk's office, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive, Oro Valley, Ariz. 85737, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.