Lebanon council fills vacant seat

Michael Cope, left, takes the oath of office from City Attorney Mark Yurick after he was selected to fill a vacant seat on Lebanon City Council. Cope will fill the unexpired term of former councilwoman Krista Wyatt who resigned last month. ED RICHTER/STAFF
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Michael Cope, left, takes the oath of office from City Attorney Mark Yurick after he was selected to fill a vacant seat on Lebanon City Council. Cope will fill the unexpired term of former councilwoman Krista Wyatt who resigned last month. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Lebanon City Council has filled its vacancy by selecting Michael Cope to complete the unexpired term of Krista Wyatt that expires at the end of the year.

Michael Cope was nominated by council and was voted by council to fill the vacancy. He took his seat and was sworn-in by City Attorney Mark Yurick.

Cope, a West Concord Drive resident, has lived in the city for the past 13 years. He was selected from a pool of 16 applicants, according to Mayor Amy Brewer.

During the meeting, Cope voted present as he had not reviewed the legislative material that council was considering for approval.

At the end of the meeting, Cope said he appreciated council’s trust in being appointed to the vacant seat.

“I appreciate having the chance to hopefully amplify and echo the conservative voice of this council,” Cope said. “I’m excited to be a team member.”

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He is currently the director of facilities and project management for the nonprofit senior living communities, Life Enriching Communities. Cope said his executive role at LEC uniquely qualifies him to help the council meet it’s 2021 and 2022 strategic goals since he manages and provides services to nearly 1,800 residents and 600 staff on campuses the resemble a small city in many ways.

He said his “personnel reputation for honesty and integrity will also add to and build on the community trust that our council currently enjoys.”

Prior to council’s May 25 meeting, Wyatt resigned her seat on council in protest of the then proposed ordinance that outlawed abortion within the city limits and declaring Lebanon a sanctuary city for the unborn her frustration with gun measures and the inability to create a Human Relations Commission.

A retired assistant fire chief for the city and the only Democrat on the nonpartisan council, Wyatt was elected in 2017. Her term would have expired on Dec. 5.

Brewer said she appreciated those residents who applied for the vacant council seat.