Some 72.6 percent of the participants in the Jan. 6, 2011 Argus-Courier online poll feel that Jason Davies, who finished fourth in November’s election for three seats on the City Council, should be appointed to fill the vacant seat on the council.

Asked if it is proper for the council to solicit applications for the vacant seat, 56.1 percent said no.

Here are some of the comments by those who participated in the survey:

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“Davies, a smart-growth advocate, would replace an elected smart-growth advocate. He also received the next most numerous votes. Selecting a candidate or non-candidate applicant other than Davies would disregard both these factors. (Any non-candidate did not show interest in the first place.)”

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“Davies campaigned honorably, received the next highest vote, and participated in all public forums. His demonstrated commitment to this city and his business skills make him the most logical, objective and democratic choice. What is the rationale behind the three negative votes? Why drag this on?”

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“Fourth-place finisher in recent election and vetted by the public. Both points are relevant. Davies is not owned by special interests. He has local, regional and international business experience, plus strong environmental credentials. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

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“How arrogant of the progressives to think they can push through their new favorite to gain control. Also, packing the council chambers with their supporters shows that they want no compromises. David Glass’s campaign slogan, ‘proven leadership,’ proves to be a joke, as he showed in his first meeting as mayor.”

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“I’ve known Jason for years. He is a truly upstanding guy and would be a great addition to the City Council.”

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“I can’t believe we’re still dealing with this when they could have solved the issue on Monday. Anyone applying now obviously didn’t care enough for being on council to run. We’ve been there and done that and it doesn’t work.”

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“I didn’t vote for him, but I know many who did. The more I see of him though, the more I like, which is something I’ve heard from many who have gotten to know him. He should be appointed. He ran a clean and positive campaign, unlike Mayne and came in a strong fourth — just 1.3 percent behind Albertson.”

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“Leave the seat vacant. Force the 3-3 council to work together, collaborate and learn to reach consensus.”

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“The charter should be changed to require a council member to resign or give up their seat if they are going to run for mayor. The person who wins the vacated seat during the election will service the remaining term.”

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“Some 6,719 people voted for Davies and he came in just 700 votes behind Albertson (just 1.3 percent difference between the two). Going with someone the people didn’t vote for who wasn’t vetted in an extensive public election process is a recipe for failure and is undemocratic.”

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“Barrett’s motion for Davies’ council appointment without any sort of council discussion on how to handle the vacancy first was both improper and a calculated political move to encourage council divisiveness thereby forcing a special election to give Torliatt an opportunity to run for the seat.”

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“Better Davies than Torliatt. He’s smart and sane. If he doesn’t get appointed, Harris, Healy and Albertson will face the prospect of an election that Pam will easily win.”

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“The city charter requires the council to appoint a person until next regular election. That designates ‘a process,’ but doesn’t specify the method. On Monday, the council could and should have made the obvious appointment. Failing that, another ‘process’ is certainly appropriate, though less optimal.”

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“Mayne had more votes than Davies, but was not considered by the council.”

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“The bottom line is that he lost the election. Fill out an application like everybody else.”

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“The council needs to go through the application process as outlined in the agenda from city manager John Brown. The process was completely disregarded at the last meeting until Harris brought it up. There are qualified candidates out there and these six council members need to be open to all candidates.”

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“Councilmembers can’t have it both ways: Complain about how divisive and contentious the appointment process is and then refuse to appoint the voters’ next in line to win a seat on the council. Appoint the fourth-place finisher and get on with the business of the community.”

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“6,719 votes and 50 percent of the new council should be enough. C’mon Albertson, ‘less talk, more action.’”

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“Harris, Healy, and Albertson got almost everything they asked for in the mayor’s recommendation for council liaison appointments and then voted it down. They got half of the SCTA directorship and everything else. They should apologize for breaking their promises to work together.”

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“All the council members will have a chance to review the applications and make a decision. It’s the fairest way to fill vacancy. If Jason Davies wants to be considered, he should apply like everyone else. The election is over — we need to move on.”

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“Appointing a normally voter-approved position without a vote by the people is not a democracy!

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“Appointing Jason Davies is the right thing to do. Appointing the first runner-up the last two times the council had a shortage was the right thing to do then too. Those two times the right thing to do was ignored and those two times the appointment turned into ill-will and the public got screwed.”

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“Appointing Jason would be a legitimate way to fill the seat. He actively campaigned in the election cycle, and he received the next highest number of votes. It would also save the city time and money as opposed to a special election.”

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“According to the city charter, the City Council shall appoint a council person to fill the vacant seat. Jason Davies, ran for City Council and was the next-highest vote-getter in the election for City Council. He did not run for mayor, he ran for City Council. He should be appointed sans politics.”

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“Appoint Jason Davies!”

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“As the charter requires!”

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“Best is next highest voted in prior election. The people spoken through the election already. That is why we have elections. We have already spent the $$$. Why are Harris, Healy and Albertson stalling the process? Aren’t these the same 3 that ran on a platform that government stalling costs us $$$ in lost revenue?”

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“Council members should be vetted by the public with an election process. We had one. He came in fourth and there’s now a fourth seat. Give it to him already so we can solve the real issues in this town and move forward.”

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“Council soliciting, interviewing, and choosing is inappropriate unless there are no also-rans from whom to choose. A group selection process is not suitable, nor is the council as a whole qualified. It avoids direct accountability while politicizing the selection.”

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“Election!”

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“I don’t know why the City Council is wasting time to look and waste even more time to interview candidates if they already have Jason Davies willing and ready to serve our people.”

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“If any of them does solicit applications, s/he should make that public.”

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“If council members move on to other positions, simply expand the winners from the current council election. The new council needs to write into the city charter steps that need to be taken so that we don’t have to go through this game every year. It makes sense to have Jason assume the seat.”

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“If Jason Davies, why not Wyatt Bunker? Have a runoff.”

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“If the council makes a decision other than Jason, they will place their judgment superior to the electorate.”

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“I have met Jason Davies, a genuine neighbor and concerned parent who would make an excellent City Council member. You cannot go wrong with him; he really cares about Petaluma.”

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“In addition to being qualified and having been vetted by the public, he came in fourth and there’s a fourth seat now needing to be filled. It’s not rocket science. Appoint him and move on with the people’s business for Petaluma.”

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“It’s better to respect the will of the voters and let the next-highest vote-getter fill the vacant seat. There should be an appointment using this process only when a City Council member has to leave the council during a member’s term. Otherwise, listen to the voters!”

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“I think that the council should respect the vote of the people and appoint the fourth-place finisher in the election instead of ignoring the vote and looking for their own candidate.”

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“I think the city charter should be clarified to address this situation. If a sitting council member becomes mayor, and we are left with a vacant seat following a council election, the next candidate should be appointed. This avoids politicizing the process (as is being done now).”

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“It makes sense to appoint Jason Davies to the vacant seat on the council. The people of Petaluma voted him fourth (not very far behind Chris Albertson).”

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“Its been said over and over, but it’s the right thing to do. The voters have spoken, Jason Davies was next in line to be a council member, he should get the spot. Done!”

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“I would hope that an applicant can be chosen that will be interested in working for the good of Petaluma; someone without a personal agenda.”

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“Jason Davies finished fourth. He should be the one chosen to fill the vacant seat. Why is this even an issue?”

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“Jason Davies has integrity and vision.”

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“Jason Davies has the most votes. The electorate has spoken.”

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“Jason Davies is extreme in his views.”

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“Jason Davies should take the seat and the council should review the city charter for possible change.”

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“Jason Davies ran for City Council and received the next highest number of votes. The voters of Petaluma have spoken — Jason deserves to sit on the council. The council needs to move forward. Jason is a business man and highly qualified for the position.”

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“Jason is a strong and experienced leader. The people voted and now that he is next in line should be given the first shot. It is part of our democratic process to work in this fashion, and it is my hope the council will feel the same.”

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“Jason should be appointed. Election has already passed and he should have the seat. Let’s get this behind us and not spend any additional time or money planning another election.”

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“Jason was the fourth choice of the electorate. It makes perfect sense that he would be appointed.”

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“Jason was the fourth-place finisher. He should be elected just as the voters decided in the election. Filling the position by appointment doesn’t represent the voters interest.”

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“Just get it over with. There are far more important things for the council to do than argue over this for months. Stubbornly arguing over ideological differences are making this body as impotent as Congress. Davies deserves the seat!”

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“It’s just like junior high school down at City Hall and a major embarrassment to the citizens.”

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“Keep it simple. Just appoint the fourth place vote-getter. It’s the voice and will of the people. Best just to stick with that rather than playing politics where the people have no say. I’ve advocated this solution since the November election.”

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“Lacking an ordinance or other law previously establishing the procedure that must be used by the council to fill the vacancy, the voters should be given the opportunity to make the selection. Bypassing the voters should occur only by necessity — and necessity here is absent.”

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“Leave the seat vacant if it means another crony-developer type. Jason Davies is pro-business and pro-environment. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

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“Let the people elect their council members. He applied by campaigning in a democratic process and was on the short list of ‘applications’ by virtue of the election results. Should one person decide who gets to represent us, or do we get to elect our representatives on the council?”

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“Let the voters decide, not the council. We can decide who is a more balanced fit.”

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“Let the will of the voters prevail. Appoint the next-highest vote-getter.”

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“Lots of crucial decisions and hard work are needed now… not gridlock or ‘symbolic gestures.’ Stacking the council with a polarized majority won’t serve our city well. Three good people got significant votes and any one could push for the needed compromise — Jason Davies, Jeff Mayne or Pamela Torliatt.”

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“My family and I feel we had an election and voted for people who we’re running for City Council. Yes, The fourth runner up should get the seat. Why waste time or money? Fair is fair.”

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“Our very own ‘local party of no’ was front and center Monday night, with Mike Harris, Mike Healy and Chris Albertson giving such weak-kneed and predictable reasoning for not choosing Jason Davies as the seventh City Council member.”

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“The Petaluma City Council has an opportunity to choose someone who can represent the community fairly. Three other candidates besides Jason came within a few hundred votes and were very close to being in fourth place. What if it had been one of those individuals?”

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“Petaluma does not have ranked choice voting. If the council feels the runner-up should me put in place, then  David Glass should keep his council seat and give the mayor position to Jeff Mayne. It doesn’t make much sense to me either, but nor do many of the council actions.”

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“Poorly framed questions — both can be true. But if you ask ‘which is better for Petaluma?’ it’s easy to see that appointing Davies is the best way to fill the seat quickly.”

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“Post-election, the field of candidates is, and is appropriately, different!”

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“Ridiculous antics! They should move straight ahead with an appointment of the fourth vote-getter and say ‘next’ to the next agenda item. The voters have already spoken!”

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“Since this vacancy is a direct result of a democratic election process, it is only logical that the candidate with the next highest number of votes should win the seat. Davies yes, and the city statutes should be amended to make sure the will of the people is respected on this point in the future.”

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“Sorry, but a special election is the only way that this will be fairly resolved due to the obstructing of Harris, Healy and Albertson. Now the people can start to see what kind of politician Albertson really is. And Mr. Albertson: Are you going to be perched on Bandini Mountain for four years?”

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“Take the number four person from the last election. Neither political group will be satisfied so pick the least expensive method to fill the slot. Is there a mandate to solicit applications?”

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“Thank you for reaching out to the public in this matter.”

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“The ‘grandstanding’ by the council ‘development friendly members’ is very disruptive to our community! There is too much ‘testosterone’ on this council — especially the new council member! Talk about egocentric.”

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“The ‘process’ is called democracy — a candidate voted upon by the public electorate, not an appointed candidate. That ‘process’ is not democracy.”

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“The three conservative council members represent a portion of the Petaluma population. Jason Davies has technology savvy, local and international business experience, strong environmental awareness and great communication skills. Mayor Glass is a leader. Davies deserves the appointment.”

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“The actions of Glass, Barrett and Renée to try and jam Davies down the throats of the other three elected officials, and the electorate, without due process as recommended by city staff, was reprehensible. These three officials should be recalled.”

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“The City Council is indebted to the citizens to place Jason Davies in the open position. We placed our votes and our votes should be the deciding factor of who receives the seat.”

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“The city council should just appoint the next runner up, whether that’s Jason or someone else. This annoying politicking is just going to cost the city money.”

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“The City Council was elected to do a job. Making this appointment is part of that job. Get to work!”

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“The council move immediately to fix the roads and streetlights. After interviewing applicants, they can appoint a problem-solver and get on with helping the people. Jason Davies could and should apply and see how he stacks up when compared to others who are willing to serve.”

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“The council should honor the choice of the community as indicated by the results of the election. The only reason a council member would vote for the appointment process is because they want to make the decision rather than the public. That is pure politics and is inexcusable.”

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“The council should look at last week’s Pulse of Petaluma question. Fifty-one percent of the voters want to attract business as a priority for the city. They need to put someone in who wants to attract business. A special election would only provide more proof for our council. Seems to me that we want a pro-business applicant.”

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“The council should look for a real leader. Someone who understands what the people of Petaluma are all about, on both sides. I say Jimmy Pera for the council!”

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“The electorate has already spoken. Take the canidate with the fourth-highest number of votes. The appointment process is just manipulation by politicians.”

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“The mayor gave Albertson, who ran on ‘less talk, more action’ and ‘compromise,’ everything and his first vote blocked the appointments because Harris didn’t get everything he wanted. Then, he voted with Harris and Healy in not appointing the fourth highest vote-getter who lost by just 1.3 percent.”

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“The newly appointed members who proposed this application process sure respected the people’s vote because it got them elected, but now, when common sense calls for the vote results to also place Davies on the council, they’re upset because they’re not getting their way. What a bunch of clowns!”

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“The people voted for Mr. Davies. Not appointing him sends a message to the people of Petaluma that their votes do not count and that the council does not value them and their choice. Any other process is a waste. Appoint Jason Davies. Show the people their vote counts and stop wasting resources.”

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“The poll failed to ask all choices for filling the vacant seat. Don’t fill the seat and lets see how the three ‘Tea Party’ councilmen obstruct government. The June ballot is a strong option.”

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“The public has already voted. Why waste more time and money? Davies should be appointed!”

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“The recent history on the council has been to not take the fourth-place finisher and to ask for applications of interested parties. We should be consistent, and all qualified candidates should be heard and voted on in an open forum.”

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“There were effectively four open seats when Glass was elected council on election day. Take the fourth runner-up. Albertson came in third by just 1.3 percent. Had the situation been reversed, it would make sense to appoint Albertson.”

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“The vacant seat should be granted to Jason Davis, the fourth-place finisher in November’s campain. We have voted already!”

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“The voters’ intent to vote for candidates who actually ran a council candidate’s campaign was revealed in the fourth vote-getter. Taking applications is an undemocratic method of appointing someone to the seat. This newspaper has a difficult time with the process of democracy, but it’s for the best.”

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“The voters have spoke, the council should listen.”

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“The voters made their choice and have vetted the candidates already.”

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“They need to find a neutral party.”

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“They should select someone that already went through the public-vetting process and got the next-highest votes — whoever that is. We don’t want someone to get appointed just because they are friendly with four of the councilmembers. It’s the only fair and democratic way.”

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“They should show some leadership and make a decision.”

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“This doesn’t have to be a tough decision and the council (and staff) have plenty of other things on which to spend their energy. Appoint Jason and move on.”

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“This is the most prudent, efficient way to fill the seat and Jason Davies is an excellent candidate. The fact that he finished fourth is an indication of the public’s desires.”

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“Top vote getters should win the seat.”

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“We already had an application process – it’s called an election. Appoint Davies, not some hand-picked person not voted or vetted by the people.”

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