The McKinney City Council will look to appoint a new City Council member to District 1 on Dec. 1.
The decision to move the appointment item to Dec. 1 came on the same day that the City Council certified the result of the city’s special election that removed former Councilman La’Shadion Shemwell from his District 1 seat.
Certified election results show that 48,208 McKinney voters cast a ballot in favor of removing Shemwell from office while 18,616 voted against the recall. In a Nov. 4 interview, McKinney Mayor George Fuller said that of McKinney District 1 voters who had cast a ballot for the recall item, over 66% voted to remove Shemwell from office.
With the District 1 seat empty as of Tuesday and less than 12 months left on Shemwell’s term, the City Council has the option to appoint a new member to the council or to leave it vacant until the May election.
“I believe the people sitting in the current seats can make decisions until May without someone in the D1 seat,” McKinney resident Cris Trevino told council members. “If you decide to appoint someone, it needs to be someone not wanting the permanent spot, in my opinion.”
Later during the meeting, Fuller referred to Trevino’s suggestion that the appointee be someone who would not run for a permanent spot.
“I think there’s some sense to that, so that’s something we should discuss as well as we move forward,” Fuller said. “Sooner rather than later.”
He went on to ask other councilmembers if it was plausible to be ready to have the discussion about who the appointed member would be by the City Council’s next meeting on Dec. 1.
“Because we do have some important decisions that have to be made,” Fuller said. “We have, of course, the statue decision, which is important, and we’ll be, over the next several months I’m sure, hearing on items pertaining to development and whatnot that definitely impact and affect District 1.”
Fuller also said he understood the sentiment of not wanting to fill the seat. However, he said he disagreed.
“Contrary to what some narratives have been, we want a constructive resident of District 1 to represent District 1, and their voice is extremely important to this council and this city,” he said.
City Council members voted unanimously in favor of continuing the discussion during the Dec. 1 meeting.
City Attorney Mark Houser said that if the City Council discussed who to appoint to the empty seat during an earlier special meeting on Dec. 1, then the appointed person could be sworn in and seated by the official 6 p.m. council meeting for that same day.
Houser said there was no part of the city charter or state law that laid out the process for filling a vacancy.
“That is entirely up to the council,” he said.
However, the appointee must be able to prove that they have been a registered voter for one year and that they have been a District 1 resident for one year, Houser confirmed.