A special election needs to be held to replace Councilman Bill Kruger who submitted his letter of resignation Sept. 4.
City officials and council members originally planned on discussing how to fill Kruger's seat at a recent council meeting but then they learned they couldn't.
Council members were told by their attorney that the Government Code indicates a vacant council seat cannot be filled by appointment if it would result in a majority of the council members having been appointed.
Council members Art Bennett and Gwenn Norton-Perry were appointed in August 2008 because no one else filed papers to run for a council seat.
Council members recently agreed that the March special election will be an all-mail ballot election.
"Since this is a standalone election, the city will be bearing the cost for everything the (San Bernardino County Registrar) will have to do," City Clerk Mary McDuffee said.
While the cost to conduct an all-mail election is $135,000, it may decrease based on the number of voters who return ballots, but "probably not (by) a whole lot," McDuffee said.
The cost for a regular election could cost up to $200,000.
According to the calendar of elections events, the filing period for nomination papers and candidates statements runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 7.
"Really, this is the best choice. It's the cheapest way we can do it and time will tell if we can get it a little bit cheaper," Mayor Art Bennett said.
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