Morrie Pongratz Appointed To Fill Council Vacancy

Morrie Pongratz, left, was appointed this evening to serve a vacancy on Council after addressing members of the Los Alamos County Council and answering their questions. He was among six applicants interested in filling the vacancy left when James Chrobocinski resigned in May. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Applicants to fill the vacancy on County Council include Aaron Walker, Brady Burke, David M. North, Laura A. Crotzer, K. Michael Cleveland and Morris B. Pongratz. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Municipal Judge Alan Kirk swears in newly appointed County Councilor Morrie Pongratz this evening in Council Chambers. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/

Staff Report:

The Los Alamos County Council held a special session this evening in Council Chambers to appoint one of six applicants to fill a vacancy on Council. They selected Morris B. Pongratz by a vote of 5-1 with Councilor Susan O’Leary casting her vote for K. Michael Cleveland.

Residents who submitted a “letter of interest” by the May 31 deadline to fill the vacancy left after the resignation of Councilor James Chrobocinski earlier in May include Pongratz, Cleveland, Brady Burke, David M. North, Laura A. Crotzer and Aaron Walker.

Applicants were asked to submit a “letter of interest” stating that they were a qualified voter and resided in the County, along with a summary of their experience, background and any other qualifications that they felt made them the best candidate.

By roll call vote, Councilors voted and the nominee with the highest vote total, in this case Pongratz, is appointed to fill the remainder of the term ending Dec. 31, 2018.

This process was in accordance with the County Charter, Section 200.4: “When a vacancy occurs in the Council, the remaining Councilors shall appoint a qualified person to fill it for the remainder of the unexpired term. If the vacancy occurs within 90 calendar days prior to the expiration of the term, no such appointment shall be made.” The vacancy for this Council seat was advertised in the Los Alamos Daily Post, Monitor and with KRSN radio, in addition to information displayed on the County Facebook Page, webpage postings and “County Line” e-newsletter postings.

Listening to applicants make their case to fill the vacancy on the Los Alamos County Council, from left, Vice Chair Christine Chandler, Chair David Izraelevitz, and members Antonio Maggiore, Pete Sheehey and Susan O’Leary. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Applicant K. Michael Cleveland, center, addresses the Council at tonight’s meeting. Photo by Carol A. Clark/