The Morristown council will choose the member to fill its vacant spot after a special meeting on Sept. 27 at the municipal building.
The council will make its decision after each of the three candidates – Michael Cherello, Toshiba Foster and Eduardo Garchitorena – makes a presentation and answers five questions predetermined by the council.
The seat has been vacant since Sept. 4 due to the death of Councilman Anthony Cattano, whose term runs out at the end of 2013. State law requires that a vacant seat be filled within a month of a council member’s death.
The names of Cherello, Foster and Garchitorena were submitted to the council in a letter after Morristown’s Democratic committee unanimously approved the three nominees Monday night, committee chairwoman Mary Dougherty said.
Council president Michelle Dupree Harris presented the council during its Tuesday meeting with three options for deciding a candidate.
One was for a council member to nominate a candidate during the meeting, which did not happen. Another was to give each candidate 10 minutes to present himself or herself and answer questions of which they are not aware.
The council ultimately opted to draft questions for the candidates, a decision Dupree Harris deemed “fair.”
Council members will each submit five questions by noon Friday. From there, Dupree Harris and Council Vice President Rebecca Feldman will narrow the questions down to five for each candidate and submit to the town clerk, who will send the questions to the candidates by the end of the day.
Feldman pointed out that all three candidates live in town and can be contacted before that date if any council members would like to reach out to them.
“I hope to do some research between now and then,” Feldman said.
Both Cherello and Foster have previously run for council. Foster lost against Councilwoman Raline Smith-Reid in the Democratic primaries in 2011 for the seat representing the Second Ward.
Cattano died on Sept. 4 at the age of 63 after battling cancer. Cattano had not appeared at a council meeting all year as he fought his illness but had occasionally participated in meetings by phone.
In his report during the council meeting, Mayor Tim Dougherty mentioned Cattano’s funeral and referenced the former councilman as “a great guy.”
“Our thoughts are going to continue to go out to his family as they deal with the loss of a very, very committed man in Morristown,” Dougherty said.