Richrod replaces Erak as council member for Ward 5

Alan Richrod, the late John Erak’s opponent in the upcoming November general election, was elected to replace him as Aberdeen City Council member for the 5th Ward last night. The council vote was 8 to 3 for Richrod to finish Erak’s term, which expires at the end of the year.

Barring a successful write-in bid by someone, Richrod will win the seat at the polls in November and begin his own term in January. He had submitted a petition of interest to Mayor Bill Simpson and was nominated by Councilmember James Cook. A second candidate, Courtney Cook, was nominated by Peter J. Schave. Cook earned the votes of Dennis Lawrence, Alice Phelps, and Schave who also represents Ward 5. Erak’s name will remain on the November ballot per state law.

If Erak should get more votes than Richrod, the council would nominate and vote anew on a candidate to fill two years of Erak’s term. Whoever wins that contest, must stand for election again in 2015, election rules say.

When Richrod was elected, Simpson joked he now had to jump over the city council railings. Richrod responded if he were 20 years younger, he would. He then took the oath administered by Finance Director Kathryn Skolrood.

Richrod made a “small request” that Erak’s nameplate be put on the back of his. Simpson said it had been requested by his widow, but joined council in approving of the gesture.

On his first vote, the consideration of city expenditures, Skolrood forgot to include him in the roll call. She apologized profusely. Richrod responded mildly, “Yes, I vote yes” and joined his 11 fellow members in the vote.

Richrod works for Orbital Holdings, a home entertainment device company.

The council also voted not to hold a third council meeting on July 31 and to present a workshop on the Aberdeen Fire Department instead.