Filling a Vacated Council Seat

Process information and a list of frequently asked questions

District Five Vacancy: City Council chooses Mano to fill vacant seat in Council District 5

During their January 21 work session meeting, City Council Members chose Darin Masao Mano to fill the vacant District Five seat, making him the newest member of the seven-person Council.

Mano is one of 28 candidates who originally applied for the position.

During the meeting, each candidate was offered five minutes to speak on topics of their choice. 24 applicants spoke as part of the application process. Two of the original candidates withdrew from the race; two others did not attend the meeting

After the candidates spoke, the Council held two rounds of voting to arrive at three finalists, who spoke again for two minutes. Another round of Council voting produced a three-way-tie, so the candidates were given an opportunity to answer a new Council question. The fourth round produced a majority vote for Mano.

Mano was sworn into office by the Assistant City Recorder to serve the remainder of a term lasting through January 2022.

View the January 21 agenda, related paperwork, and meeting video. View the Read the Council press release.

District Five Vacancy Timeline:

  • Former District Five Council Member Erin Mendenhall leaves the district seat on January 5, 2020 to take office as Salt Lake City Mayor.
  • Between December 16, 2019 and January 14, 2020, the Salt Lake City Recorder's Office accepts applications to fill vacancy.
  • The City Council interviews all applicants during their January 21, 2020 work session meeting. The City Council selects Darin Masao Mano to fill the vacancy. Mano is sworn in by the Assistant City Recorder.

Council Vacancy Process FAQ

A City Council seat can be vacated for legal reasons, such as a Council Member’s relocation outside of the district, death, or judicial removal. A City Council seat can also be vacated by resignation for personal or professional reasons.

Typically, a City Council Member provides a letter of resignation to the City Recorder and Council to formally announce the vacancy of their position. The Council has 30 days after the effective date of a vacancy to fill the position for the remainder of the term.

The Recorder completes the application process with interested individuals prior to the Council’s review and interview process. For more information on the application process visit the City Recorder's website or call 801-535-7671.

Continue reading for a list of frequently asked questions about Council vacancies. The information also includes insight of Council Member duties and time necessary for meetings. Join the vacancy process mailing list to receive updates.

How does the City Council fill a vacancy?

  • Application forms will be available at the City Recorder’s Office and on the
  • Application must be received in person within the application window stated on the application form.
  • In advance of the Council interview, applicants will be provided a list of questions. Applicants will be asked to provide their answers in writing by a specific date.
  • The Council interviews applicants during an open City Council meeting.
  • The City Council selects, by majority vote, an applicant to fill the vacancy.
  • The chosen applicant is sworn in by the City Recorder.

Watch City Recorder Cindi Mansell talk about the City's Council Office vacancy process.

What happens at the end of a term?

If the appointed Council Member wishes to seek election at the end of the term, they must run in the next election cycle for the respective district, in accordance with campaign requirements.

What are the requirements to apply for a vacated City Council seat?

An applicant:

  • Must be a registered voter.
  • Must reside in the Council district being vacated for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before the date of the appointment.
  • Under the Utah Constitution, certain individuals (mentally incompetent, convicted of a felony, convicted of treason or a crime against the elective franchise) may not hold office until the right to hold elective office is restored under Utah law.
  • May not be employed by Salt Lake City if selected for the vacancy.
Fall at the City and County Building

Council Member Duties and Time Commitment

Council Members work for the City part-time and receive a $36,650 annual salary and benefits similar to full-time City employees.

Council Members generally hold full-time employment in addition to their employment as a member of the City Council. A staff of 25 full and part-time employees supports the Council in its legislative role. Staff assists with a variety of Council Member duties such as meeting scheduling, constituent issues, communication outreach, policy research, the City’s budget, and newsletters, etc.

Foyer of the City and County Building

What are City Council Member roles?

The City Council serves as the guiding source for policy and budget and has the following legislative powers:

  • Adopts the City budget.
  • Enacts legislation by passing City ordinances (term interchangeably used with law and regulation).
  • Sets guiding City policy.
  • Considers budget or ordinance amendments needed for delivery of City services.
  • Holds authority to override Mayoral veto.
  • Provides advice and consent on appointments made by the Mayor to City boards and commissions and City Department Directors.
  • Provides oversight of City functions.

The Council also serves as the Board of Directors for Salt Lake City’s Redevelopment Agency, the Local Building Authority and jointly with the Mayor as the Board of Canvassers.

What is the time commitment associated with a Council Member's responsibilities?

The Council meets the first three Tuesdays of each month except during July, August and December when the Council meets twice a month. Council Members review agenda packet material to prepare for each Council meeting; attend meetings with constituents and community groups and various trainings; travel for conferences; speak at engagements; etc.

What is a Council Work Session meeting and a Formal Meeting?

A Council Work Session is a meeting during which Council Members discuss policy items and proposals and hear from presenters. Work Sessions typically begin at 2 p.m. A Council Formal Meeting is a time for the Council to receive public input and take action on policy proposals, enacting them into law. Formal Meetings begin at 7 p.m. Once a month, the Council meets as the Board of Directors of the City’s Redevelopment Agency.

The budget process is generally the busiest time for a Council Member during the months of May and June. What does the budget process entail?

In the process of adopting the City budget, the Council reviews the Mayor’s Recommended Budget, which by law is required to be balanced. In its review, the Council evaluates what services should be provided and at what level; whether to raise, lower or maintain taxes or fees; and the City’s service priorities. The Council is the determining body for the City budget, which must be adopted by June 30. Small group meetings, additional discussion, and additional full Council meetings may be scheduled during the time period to ensure a balanced budget is adopted by June 30.

Council Office Entrance