Richmond City Council Considers Candidates for Vacant Seat

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The Richmond City Council will meet tonight to consider an appointment to fill a seat left vacant by the hospitalization of newly elected Councilman Gary Bell.

Bell was incapacitated shortly after the Nov. 6 election by a severe sinus infection that caused him to undergo multiple brain surgeries and be put into a medically induced coma.

During tonight's meeting, the City Council and public will hear from candidates seeking to replace Bell. Under state law, the council has 60 days from the time the seat was vacated -- Jan. 8 -- to appoint a replacement.

Otherwise, a special election must be held, according to city officials. A special election would cost Richmond about $200,000, unless the council race can be combined with a West Contra Costa Unified School District election slated for this summer, which would halve the cost, city officials said.


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