Midway fails to choose new city council member; decision now goes to Gov. Scott

midway city council
midway city council
Posted at 3:42 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 23:43:14-04

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) - Midway city leaders spent Monday night interviewing six candidates to fill the city's now-vacant District 1 seat.

It's a temporary position. The vacancy is left by former City Councilman Charlie Smith, who died in February.

Before the council made a decision, each candidate introduced themselves and answered questions about their goals for the city.

Quintealia Cato said: "With my previous experience being on the city council once before, I am the best choice that you have."

"[My goal is] making sure that the people in my district are informed," said Ella Dickey.

"Trying to get citizens more positively involved would be a good thing," said Jason Whittaker.

David Gaines said: "There has to be a way that we can get on track."

"I don't want to get any personal stuff involved. I'm interested in moving this great city forward," said Chavien Lockwood.

Despite some positive ideas from the candidates, there were concerns about the people applying.

"One individual is claiming that he plans on filing a lawsuit, and then you also have this candidate here who actually filed a lawsuit," said Midway City Attorney Anthony Thomas.

The most emotional candidate interview was with former Midway City Manager Auburn Ford. Over the last few years, Ford has been hired, fired, re-hired, sentenced to jail time, resigned, hired again and then fired again.

Ford has also filed ethics complaints against Mayor Wanda Range and current City Manager Leslie Steele.

While Ford was interviewing during Monday's meeting, Steele said: "Council, I have got to say this. We are afraid of Auburn in our office. Any time he gets on this property, I call the police."

After some deliberation, the council came to a stalemate; a split vote on all six candidates. Now, the council will ask Governor Rick Scott to make the appointment for them.

Thomas says there's no hard deadline for the governor to make his appointment. Thomas says, by law, Gov. Scott has a "reasonable" amount of time to make a decision. Until then, Midway will remain one council member short.