Newark City Council To Hold Meeting Tonight To Choose Special Election Date

The City of Newark will hold a meeting tonight to set the date for a special election to fill the  District 1 seat left vacant when Councilman Hornig resigned last week.

Per the proclamation issued by Governor Carney and Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long on March 13, 2020, City Council will be meeting remotely via GoToMeeting. The meeting will be available for viewing via GoToMeeting at the following link:

You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (312) 757-3121 Access Code: 232-652-109 New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

Public comments may be submitted on the items on the agenda via email to [email protected] by 5:30 p.m. All public comments received will be read into the record at the meeting. Attendees may also alert the City Secretary that they wish to speak at the appropriate time by submitting their name, district and/or address, and agenda item on which they would like to comment via the GoToMeeting chat function during the meeting. A Special City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. via GoToMeeting to consider the following items: A. Setting of the Special Election Date and Associated Filing Deadline to Fill the District 1 Council Vacancy (Packet item posted 5/26/21.)

Setting of the Special Election Date and Associated Filing Deadline to Fill the District 1 Council Vacancy

May 26, 2021
TO: Mayor and Council
FROM: Renee Bensley, City Secretary
CC: Paul Bilodeau, City Solicitor Tom Coleman, City Manager
RE: Recommendation for the Council District 1 Special Election and Filing Dates

Due to the resignation of Councilman Horning from the District 1 Council seat, the City is required by charter to hold “a special election to be held in the same manner in every respect as a regular
election, on a date fixed by the council not less than 30 nor more than 60 days after the occurrence of the vacancy” (Charter Section 306). Since Councilman Horning’s resignation was effective on May 25, 2021, the window in which to hold a special election would be between June 24 and July 24. Since July 20 is the latest Tuesday (the day of the week the City normally holds elections) within the 30 to 60-day special election window, it is the recommendation of staff that the special election be held on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The Department of Elections –
New Castle County Office has confirmed their availability for that date.

In regards to setting the deadline for nominating petitions, our charter states “[t]he nominating petition for each candidate shall be filed at the office of the City Secretary during normal business
hours as provided for by ordinance not later than the Monday which is between 60 and 66 days before the election” (Charter Section 1001). Since the special election is required to be held
within 60 days, the City will be unable to comply with this charter provision. Therefore, staff is recommending that Council set the deadline for nominating petitions as 29 days prior to the
election, which would mirror the charter prior to the changes implemented in 2013 and would follow precedent set by the City’s last special elections in 2013 and 2014. If Council elects to set
the special election date as July 20, that will make the deadline for nominating petitions Monday, June 21, 2021. Nominating petitions will be accepted starting Wednesday, June 2.

Recommended Motion
“I move to set Tuesday, July 20, 2021 as the date for the Council District 1 special election and to set the filing deadline for said special election as Monday, June 21, 2021.”