Update: The City Council has selected Joy Pearson to fill the vacancy. During its January 4 meeting the City Council unanimously voted to appoint Ms. Pearson and she was then sworn in. Ms. Pearson joins new Farmington City Council members Katie Porter and Steve Wilson who were elected in November.
Farmington City Council Member Joshua Hoyt was elected as Mayor during the November election creating a future vacancy on the City Council. Mayor-elect Hoyt's city council term would end on January 2, 2023. On December 14, 2020 the City Council interviewed eight candidates to fill the vacancy. Four of those candidates were selected as finalists and had a second interview.
The finalists included Joy Pearson, Rob Carpentier, Wendy Stenger and Phil Windschitl, none of whom ran as candidates for the two at-large City Council seats that were on the general election ballot. Phil Windschitl is a peace officer who serves on the Farmington Planning Commission and ran for City Council in 2018. Wendy Stenger is a Global Lead, External Workforce Programs at Thomson Reuters. Rob Carpentier is a teacher who previously was a candidate for the ISD 192 School Board and has served as a member of the Farmington Parks and Recreation Committee. Joy Pearson is the Founder and CEO of Finch & Daisy Consulting. More information is available in this Sun ThisWeek article.
Minn. Stat. § 412.02, subd. 2a, states that if a vacancy occurs any time other than during the period between the start of a candidate filing period and a regular election, then the vacancy must be filled by an appointment by the city council, and if the term of office that remains is "more than two years" at the time the vacancy occurs, a special election must be held to fill the vacancy. The statute says that if "less than two years remain in the unexpired term, there need not be a special election." The statute does not specify what process should be followed when the unexpired term is exactly two years rather than less or more than two years.