A Greenwood councilman who was defeated in the November 2012 general election was appointed Monday to fill the unexpired term of his opponent, who resigned in early December.
Rod Powell, a former nine-year councilman, was given a unanimous nod Monday night to fill the city’s Ward 1, Position 2 seat. Councilman Lee Johnson made the recommendation.
"We’ve got a vacancy on the council," he said. "If I understand it right, as a council, we have a right to appoint someone to fill that vacancy for the remainder of that term. I’d like to nominate Rod Powell to fill that vacancy."
The recommendation was approved 5-0.
Powell was defeated in the 2012 election 1,742-1,521 by lifelong Greenwood resident Craig Hamilton. Hamilton, citing family and employment reasons, recently resigned from the council after serving 11 months of his four-year term.
City Attorney Mike Hamby said the council had the option of appointing a replacement or holding a special election.
"The law gives you a choice," he told the council. "You can do one or the other."
Hamby was asked if, in his 20-plus years with the city, an election has been held to fill a vacant position.
"Not that I recall," he said. "It’s always been appointed."
Former councilman Jim Newcomb urged the city leaders to let voters have a say.
"Putting Rod Powell in there temporarily until the general election, I don’t have a problem with that at all," he said. "But the idea is this is a democracy, and it should be the people’s choice. Give the people their right to vote."
Powell is currently a member of the city’s Parks Commission.