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Temps wanted for new City Council spots

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San Antonio’s city council will have two new members soon.

The departure of District 7 Councilman Cris Medina to Fort Meade, Md., for active-duty military training and District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor’s elevation to interim mayor means city council will have to appoint temporary replacements.

Medina will return to the council after his U.S. Air Force assignment ends on Oct. 10, but whoever replaces Taylor in the interim will have to run in a November special election, if the appointee intends to stay in the District 2 chair. Whoever wins the special election will serve as District 2 chair until May 31, 2015. All San Antonio City Council seats are up for grabs in the May 9, 2015 election.

City Clerk Leticia Vacek posted both vacancy notices online on July 23 and is accepting applications from between July 28 and August 8. After Vacek reviews the applications, she will forward them to Taylor and the council, who will choose three applicants to interview. On August 14, a temporary replacement for Medina will be selected and the council will decide who will fill Taylor’s District 2 spot on the dais.

Potential candidates interested in the District 2 spot in November have until August 21 to file. That special election is estimated to cost the taxpayers up to $200,000.

As for Medina’s temporary leave, he was planning to try for the interim mayor position, but shortly before the contest, an anonymous email was sent to multiple media outlets accusing Medina of improprieties in his office. Shortly after that, Medina announced his Air Force commitment.

“Last year, I requested to attend military school to further my development as an officer in the Air Force Reserve. These slots are hard to come by for Reservists, but I was fortunate to be given a slot,” Medina said in a July 17 statement, which goes on to say he attempted to reschedule but was told that was impossible.

However, Medina—who reports on August 4—said he is already working to select a community leader to replace him while he is training. Council watchers may recall a similar move made by District 4 councilman Philip Cortez in 2010 in which he, like Medina, claimed to have been ordered to Ft. Meade for Air Force Reserve training. It was later revealed that Cortez had actually applied for a training program months before, making the subsequent appointment of Cortez’s then-fiancée (now ex-wife) Leticia Cantu even more fishy. Let’s hope Medina has purer motives.

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