MINIDOKA — What happens when no one files to run for mayor or City Council in a small rural town? The city of Minidoka is about to find out.
The Nov. 2 election is supposed to have a mayoral seat and two four-year council seats on the ballot, but no one filed candidate paperwork on time to be listed.
Because of new state laws, uncontested races no longer appear on municipal ballots unless there is another contested race, so Minidoka’s races are not even on the ballot this year.
Minidoka County Clerk Tonya Page said she spoke with Minidoka officials about the issue and was assured “they are working it out.”
“We are still trying to figure out a remedy,” City Attorney Matt Darrington said.
Ultimately, he said the mayor will appoint people to the offices and the council will ratify the selections.
Councilperson Martin Merrill holds one of the four-year seats up for re-election.
Merrill said they received the candidate filing paperwork too late “and missed the deadline.”
“We’ve had problems like this before, it’s a little community,” Merrill said. “We will figure something out. We’ve had to pick people before and then appoint them.”
Merrill, 76, said he will serve on the council again if he is asked to do so.
Merrill said a notice will be put out to residents who are interested in leading the city to come to the next council meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at City Hall, 402 Cherry St.