The Cape Girardeau City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Thursday that will set April 2 as the special election date for the council's Ward 6 seat.
The April election will fill the unexpired term of Kathy Swan, who resigned her Ward 6 post on Jan. 9 to assume her new duties as state representative. Wayne Bowen, chairman of the history department at Southeast Missouri State University and Southeast Missourian columnist, will be the sole candidate running for the Ward 6 seat, as he was the only person to have filed a sufficient petition by the end of the filing period.
The vote taken by the council was termed an "emergency" vote, so called because of the need to beat the Tuesday deadline for placing issues on the April ballot. The council also waited until the end of the filing period, which was last Tuesday, to set the special election to determine if a primary election would be needed. Since Bowen was the only person who had filed, a primary wasn't needed.
In other action, the council voted with one abstention to appoint Ray Buhs, a former longtime-member of the Cape Girardeau Planning and Zoning Commission, as interim Ward 6 councilman until the April special election.
The abstaining member of the council was Loretta Schneider, who represents Ward 4. Schneider cited Buhs' being related to Ward 2 councilwoman Meg Davis as a reason for her abstention, along with what she felt was a lack of notice for other candidates to seek the interim position.
City Attorney Eric Cunningham said there was no conflict of interest in the appointment of Buhs, who is Davis' great-uncle.
Pertinent address: 1625 North Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.