Temporary representative to serve ward

A new Ward 5 Las Vegas City Council member is expected to be appointed at Wednesday's meeting, giving the ward a temporary representative until June.

Two high-ranking city officials confirmed that Brenda Williams, a lifelong resident of Ward 5, will be offered by Mayor Oscar Goodman to fill the seat. Any appointment is subject to a vote by the City Council, but that person could be sworn in on Wednesday.

The appointment is based on the likelihood that none of the 10 candidates running in today's Ward 5 election will get more than 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate gets a majority of votes, which is likely according to political observers, then the top two candidates will face off in the June primary.

Whomever voters elect in June would replace the council's appointment.

Ward 5 has not had a representative since March 6, when Lawrence Weekly left his council seat to join the Clark County Commission.

Under state law, the city has to appoint someone within 30 days after a seat is vacated or call a special election.

The City Council was told by the city attorney's office that the general election in June could be declared a special election.

But that changed when further research found that declaring the general election the special election would open up the ballot and allow more candidates to file.

Williams could not be reached for comment late Monday. Her employment was unclear Monday.

Goodman would not confirm the name and said he did not want it to affect today's election.

But he said that the candidate was "very" qualified.

Many projects in Ward 5 have been delayed or have been handled by Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese, who represented much of what is now Ward 5 before its creation in 1999.

Reese, who would not identify the candidate, said, "I've known this person for a long time. I know she is very well-liked in the community. She's smart, hardworking, and I think she could do a good job for the people who live in Ward 5."

The primary election will be held today. The candidates are former Assemblyman Gene Collins, the Rev. Marion Bennett, former city worker Richard Blue, Sandra Summers-Armstrong, Katherine "Katie" Duncan, council liaison Ricki Barlow, attorney Stacie Truesdell, Jeffrey Loveall, Earnestine Howell and Marcia Washington.

Two council meetings have taken place since Weekly left, and some residents have complained about the lack of representation on the council.

Whomever is appointed by the council on Wednesday could be sworn in the same day, the city clerk's office said.

The City Council agenda lists an item for "Discussion and possible action to fill the vacant City Council seat for Ward 5."

The backup provides no further information.