Election Wins Vacate Two Seats On City Council

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two wins on election night mean Topeka's city council is losing two members.

"We were watching WIBW of course, we were very excited. It was a good evening," Bob Archer, District 7's councilman said, recounting Tuesday night's events.

Archer won the race for the Shawnee County Commission's 3rd District, vacated by Ted Ensley in his unsuccessful bid for state legislature.

At the same time, Councilman John Alcala won a seat as a state representative for the 57th District.

Topeka's Municipal Code bars council members from serving in other elected offices at the same time, so the council and mayor will appoint successors for both Archer and Alcala.

"I'm going to stay on the city council until the day before I'm sworn in on the county commission," Archer said.

The appointee for Archer will serve until city elections in April of next year, when Archer's council term would have ended.

If Alcala also stays on the council until he's sworn into his new State Representative post, his successor will stay through the remainder of his term ending in 2015.

"If Mr. Alcala resigns, and the resignation is effective before January 1, 2013, then a qualified person is appointed to serve until the 2013 city election," City spokeswoman Suzie Gilbert said.
"At that election, a person is elected to serve the remainder of Mr.
Alcala's term, that's until the 2015 city election.

"'[Candidates for] my district, I would hope, would be, number one, a fiscal conservative, and number two, they would have to express an interest in running again in April." Archer said.

Archer says he's already recruiting for a successor, though neither he nor Alcala can vote for the appointees.

Archer said the city and county overlap in a number of areas and his city knowledge will help him in his Shawnee County Commission job.

He says he will look for savings opportunities, whether that's through consolidation or close collaboration.