Lebanon council seeking applicants for vacant council seat after member resigned before abortion vote

During its nearly four-hour meeting on May 25, 2021, Lebanon City Council listened to more than 60 people raising concerns about an emergency ordinance outlawing abortion in the city and declaring Lebanon as a sanctuary city for the unborn. Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. Prior to the meeting, Krista Wyatt resigned her seat in protest as she was frustrated with council's plan to consider the ordinance. Council is accepting applications from residents to fill the vacant seat. The deadline to apply is June 7. ED RICHTER/STAFF
During its nearly four-hour meeting on May 25, 2021, Lebanon City Council listened to more than 60 people raising concerns about an emergency ordinance outlawing abortion in the city and declaring Lebanon as a sanctuary city for the unborn. Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. Prior to the meeting, Krista Wyatt resigned her seat in protest as she was frustrated with council's plan to consider the ordinance. Council is accepting applications from residents to fill the vacant seat. The deadline to apply is June 7. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Lebanon City Council is seeking applicants for appointment to a vacant seat on council.

Prior to council’s May 25 meeting, Krista 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.

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During its executive session during its work session Tuesday, council determined the process pursuant to the city charter concerning council vacancies.

Lebanon’s charter requires council to fill an vacancy within 30 days by a majority vote of the remaining members of council by the selection of a qualified elector who has resided in the city for at least two years immediately preceding his or her appointment. The person chosen shall serve the balance of the unexpired term.

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Qualified residents who would like to be considered for the Council appointment to fill the unexpired term of the vacant seat should notify Kelli Kline, assistant to the city manager in writing by email to kkline@lebanonohio.gov; by regular U.S. mail or in- person. In-person and regular mail applications may be sent to Kline at the office of the City Manager, 50 S. Broadway, City Building, Lebanon.

Applications must be received by Monday in order to be considered for this vacancy.

Applicants should send a short and plain statement of interest in the appointment including a statement that the applicant is a qualified elector in Lebanon and has resided in in the city for at least two years immediately preceding his or her appointment.

The applications may also include any supporting material in favor of appointment. The City also recommends that e-mail applications include a return receipt request to confirm delivery of the application to the City Manager’s office.

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

Krista Wyatt stepped down from her seat as a member of Lebanon City Council shortly before the May 25 council meeting. FILE PHOTO
Krista Wyatt stepped down from her seat as a member of Lebanon City Council shortly before the May 25 council meeting. FILE PHOTO

For the past six months, Wyatt said in a social media post she was less enthused about council decisions, such as allowing people to bring concealed weapons to council meetings.

Wyatt said she was disappointed when council did not create a Human Relations Commission earlier this year she and Councilwoman Wendy Monroe and a group of residents worked on for several months.

“I felt powerless to make a meaningful difference to those who were asking me to something,” Wyatt said in the post.

Wyatt said the first two years of her term were “meaningful” and that council worked for the betterment of the city.

“With the current membership, I do not feel that is the case and I no longer want my name to be associated with the council,” Wyatt’s resignation letter said.

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