Sanderson runs unopposed for mayor, five candidates file for three seats on council

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - With a deadline of June 1, five candidates turned in applications to run for three council seats in Tusayan and former mayor Craig Sanderson resigned his council seat on June 1 in order to run as a private citizen for the office of mayor.

Sanderson stepped in as mayor of Tusayan after former mayor Greg Bryan resigned in December 2015. Council members debated how long Sanderson would sit on the council as the mayor and it was decided that at the next available election the seat would be available. Sanderson's council term was set to expire in 2018.

Some of the council's uncertainty stemmed from an ordinance passed in March 2015 that called for the direct election of the mayor.

The ordinance originally called for a special election to be held in the absence of a mayor, however, a county election spokesperson informed the town that a special election could not be convened in that scenario. At that time council members decided the best wording for the initiative was to change 'special election' to the 'next possible election' for clarity. The ordinance stated the vice mayor would assume the responsibilities of mayor until the next possible election and any vacancy on the council would be filled.

Immediately following a special council meeting June 1, in which Tusayan council members unanimously passed a revised amendment between the town of Tusayan and Stilo Development USA allowing the town to begin building up to 20 housing units at the Ten X property and for Stilo to build limited commercial development at Camper Village in Tusayan, Craig Sanderson resigned his council seat.

Sanderson is running as a private citizen and unopposed at this time. Vice Mayor John Rueter will take over the responsibilities of mayor until a mayor is elected. With Sanderson resigning and Rueter taking over as mayor, there is one council seat that will need to be filled before the election.

According to Sanderson, council members will seek a community member to fill Sanderson's unexpired term.

"So there will be an appointment by the council to fill my vacant seat," Sanderson said.

A special council meeting is set for June 8 for Rueter to take the oath of mayor and for council members to nominate someone to fill the council seat. John Rueter's seat expires in 2018.

In the August primary, there are three seats on council on the ballot. One seat is a four year seat and two seats are two year seats.

For the four year seat Al Montoya and David Chavez are on the ballot. For both two year seats Becky Wirth, Rob Gossard and Anavon Harris are on the ballot.

The primary election takes place Aug. 30 and general election Nov. 8.

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