Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said Monday that several people have expressed interest in serving the remaining term of Urban County Council member Ed Lane, who died Aug. 2.
Gray said he has 30 days to appoint someone to fill the council seat but has not set a definite deadline to find a replacement to represent the 12th District, which is entirely outside the urban services boundary.
Lane, who had been battling cancer for two years, had served on the council since 2005.
"I think it's important to carefully consider and examine those who are interested," Gray said. "There have been a number of people who have expressed interest. That's healthy and good for our democratic system."
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The person appointed would serve out the remaining term — until December 2016.
Two former council members — Gloria Martin and Andrea James — told the Herald-Leader on Monday that they were interested. Kathy Plomin, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large council seat in 2010, also expressed interest.
Martin, who served the 12th district from 1994 to 2005, said she sent a letter to Gray expressing interest. Martin said she had been asked by several neighborhood groups, individuals and those in the farming industry to seek the appointment.
But Martin said she does not want to run in 2016.
Because of her more than decade-long experience on the council, the Board of Adjustment and other city boards and commissions, Martin said she would be able to jump in immediately and serve the 12th District. "It's the golden goose of our area; the rural landscape is what draws tourism and makes us unique," Martin said.
"I know how important the rural district is and it needs to be represented."
Gray confirmed Monday that several people have emailed his office supporting Martin's appointment.
James, who formerly represented the 1st District but now lives in the 12th District, served on the council from 2007 to 2011. She said she put her name forward out of concern for voters in the 12th District. It takes a long time for new council members to learn how the council operates, James said.
"It was the best job I have ever had," she said of serving on council. "I thought this was a desperate situation and I thought I could help. It's tough to find someone to step in midstream, and the learning curve can be steep."
James said if appointed she would not rule out running in 2016. James said she has been interested in preserving rural landscape for a long time.
"While on council, I had an interest in how to create rural settlement overlay to conserve the rural hamlets and agriculture legacy of our rural land and stayed involved in the rural land management conversation, understanding the importance of preserving rural landscape as well as how to enhance and support appropriate urban development," James said.
Plomin said she was considering running for the 12th District seat in 2016 but has not sent an email or letter to Gray about the seat because she was unfamiliar with the appointment process.
"I have some interest but I have not done anything formally," Plomin said. She has lived in the 12th District for 28 years.
Plomin backed Gray's challenger Anthany Beatty in the 2014 mayor's race. But Plomin said she has talked to Gray since his landslide victory and explained to him that she supported Beatty because of her long-term friendship with his family.
"He said. 'That's what democracy is all about," Plomin said.
In April, Gray appointed James Brown to fill the 1st District seat vacated when Chris Ford resigned to become the city's commissioner of social services.