25 people apply to fill vacant Bowie City Council seat
Current councilmember, former council and mayoral candidates among those seeking at-large position
The Bowie City Council might need to pull an all-nighter.
That's one of the options the council and Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson are entertaining to vet a surprisingly large list of 25 applicants for the vacant at-large council seat.
The council originally planned to interview and select its new member at the body's Dec. 13 meeting.
But that was when most people were expecting only a handful of applicants for the seat that Geraldine Valentino-Smith vacated when she resigned Nov. 15. Valentino-Smith was elected to the House of Delegates for District 23A in the Nov. 2 general election.
"I'm surprised by the number. It's larger than any of us participated," Robinson said. "We thought we'd have six or 10 people and do it in a couple of hours."
Now the council will either work long into the night on Dec. 13, hold a special Saturday meeting or push the appointment decision back until after the holidays, according to Robinson.
The mayor said he'd prefer to get everything done on Dec. 13, but he and the council will discuss their options over the weekend.
The applicants are: Brian Banks, Carl Brown Jr., James Golato, Samuel Graham, Yvonne Smith Mitchell, Richard O'Brien, Emerson Ruth, Lonnie Stith, Henri Gardner, Craig Muckle, Richard Dahms, Troy Stewart, Patrice Murray, Pete Mellits, Megan Emhoff, Veda Pryor, Leon Buck, Paula Hopson-Stanley, Dufour Woolfley, Ronald Skotz, Todd Turner, Babatunde Alegbeleye, Eric Shakir, Jerome Hampton and Lynn Romanek.
Robinson said the large volume of applicants says something positive about the city.
"It's clearly positive," the mayor said. "It reflects on a lot of interest in what's going on and reflects on Bowie being a strong and engaged community."
Robinson said the pool is a good mix of familiar and unknown names.
The list includes current District 3 Councilman Todd Turner. If Turner earns the city-wide position, the council would seek applications to fill the District 3 spot that Turner would vacate, Robinson explained.
It also includes others who have run for either the city council or mayor in the past, including Buck, Dahms, Golato, Gardner, Graham and Stewart.