Fairfield tries to fill in two seats

September 23, 2008 11:48:02 PM PDT
The man police say shot and killed a Fairfield city councilman earlier this month is in custody in Solano County. Meantime, the Fairfield City Council is beginning the difficult task of filling two vacancies. One was left by the murder of Matt Garcia and the other was from the death of Frank Kardos, who took his own life last week.

The much awaited inmate arrived at the Solano County Jail on Tuesday night. Henry Don Williams, 32, waived his extradition rights after he was arrested in Las Vegas this weekend. He's accused of killing 22-year-old Fairfield City Council Member Matt Garcia, who was standing in front of a friend's house on September 1st when he was shot in the back of the head.

Around the same time Williams was being booked, the remaining three council members, including the mayor who teleconferenced into the meeting, began the process of filling not one, but two vacant council seats.

This weekend, 54-year-old Council Member Frank Kardos hanged himself after he was convicted of felony assault.

"For the last two weeks we've been running on emotion, and it's time we got back to running on fact and logic. And it might sound cold and heartless, but there's city business to do," said Chuck Timm, a council member.

Some candidates wanted to reopen the application process that is now closed.

"I don't see the benefit of throwing this open, stopping the process, when we're already right in the middle of this. We've had a train wreck. Let's fix the tracks and get going," said John Mraz, a council member.

From a pool of 51 people who initially applied for Garcia's seat, the council whittled it down to 10 finalists. Steven Kays, the runner up to Garcia in last November's election, is one of them.

"The main issue is crime, and we can reduce crime by bringing in more jobs and that's what I do for a living. I bring jobs into Fairfield," said Steven Kays, a city council candidate.

Garcia's stepfather says he and Garcia's mother do not support a particular candidate. They want to leave it up to the council.

Now the finalists will undergo a background check which includes a criminal history and financial disclosure. On September 29th, they'll be interviewed by the council, during an open meeting.

One source, close to the process told ABC7 at least one will be disqualified for falsifying a resume.


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