The Auburn City Council is starting the search for an interim council member for Ward 4 after Councilman Brett Smith announced his resignation at Tuesday night's regular meeting.  

Smith announced at the end of the Tuesday's City Council meeting that he will be taking a job in central Florida and will be leaving by the end of the month. 

Smith, who was elected to his first term on Council in 2018, said he is very grateful for his time spent serving Ward 4.

“It’s been an honor to serve the city and it has been an even bigger honor to answer to the people of Ward 4," he said.

Mayor Ron Anders will appoint a new member for the vacated seat at the Council's meeting on June 7. The appointed member will finish out the remainder of Smith's term, which will end in November as the new City Council is sworn in following August's Municipal Election. 

City Manager Megan McGowen Crouch said those interested in taking over the Ward 4 seat should contact the mayor and provide a resume and letter of interest. The city will post information on its website no later than Thursday morning with further details for applying.

This interim position is only open to those who have lived in Ward 4 for at least 90 days under the recent redrawn and current ward map.

Mayor Ron Anders recommended that the Council consider only people who will not be contending for the position in the August election as it could be viewed as an "unfair head start."

The Ward 4 vacancy isn’t the only position that needs to be filled as two vacancies on the Planning Commission were announced as well during the City Council meeting. The positions held by Chairman Phillip Chansler and longtime member Marcus Marshall will expire July 7. Neither are expected to return for another term. 

The six-year terms for the two seats will run from Aug. 1, 2022 through July 31, 2028. Appointments will be made at the Council's July 19 meeting. 

The Planning Commission is largely a recommending body to the City Council on items like conditional-use requests, annexations, and changes to the zoning ordinance, while also helping shape and update the city's land-use plan, CompPlan 2030, among other duties.

Applications for the position will be open for four weeks starting May 18. These positions are open to those living in areas under the purview of the Planning Commission. Although residency in the city limits isn’t required, it is heavily weighted when making the final decision, which was seen last in 2019 when Robyn Bridges was appointed after the Council discussed the requirement of residency during meetings considering the recommendations of the Boards and Commissions Task Force. 

Other positions of City Council are also getting noticed as resident Leah Billye Welburn announced their run for Ward 5 seat in the upcoming August election. Welburn spoke earlier to Councilman Steven Dixon, who has expressed that he will not be seeking re-election. 

After going to a number of City Council meetings over the last year, Welburn has decided to make their own campaign for City Council to hopefully better serve the community. 

“I see room for myself to serve and be sure that everyone is getting what they want out of the process of government," Welburn said.

The qualifying period to run in the Municipal Election begins June 14 and runs through June 28. Qualifications include being 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a registered voter. Candidates must also have lived in Auburn for 90 days prior to the election, or lived in the ward they want to represent for 90 days. 

The Auburn Municipal Election will take place Aug. 23. 

More information can be found at auburnalabama.org/Elections/.  

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