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posted: 5/9/2014 5:30 AM

Elgin might pick council finalist Wednesday

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After interviewing four hopefuls for a vacant seat Wednesday, the Elgin City Council might pick a finalist next week, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said.

Candidates Mitchell Esterino, Mohammad "Mo" Iqbal, Rosamaria Martinez and Aaron Sellers each had an hourlong interview in closed session, he said.

They were selected from among 21 applicants.

"(Council members) will have a couple of days to digest what they heard last night," Kaptain said Thursday. "Maybe they want to make more phone calls to the candidates."

The council next will discuss the appointment May 14 in closed session.

If a majority of council members agree on a finalist, that person likely would be appointed May 28, Kaptain said.

"Hopefully, we'll make some kind of a decision whether to appoint somebody and move along," he said.

The seat was vacated when Anna Moeller resigned to take office as the state representative for the 43rd District.

State law indicates the city council has 60 days to fill the vacancy, but Kaptain said the deadline is not "a drop dead date."

Kaptain said he's looking for a qualified candidate who can express his or her opinions and deal with any tension on the council.

The right candidate should be knowledgeable about what goes on in the city of Elgin, but it's OK not to be familiar with how government operates, Kaptain said.

"Every one of us (council members) was sworn in at the end of April or first part of May. We all start at the same time," he said. "There is always a learning curve."

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