Only five people applied for the position. Monday afternoon, they all faced a public job interview in front of a committee that included Westerlund. He called it surreal to actually search for his own replacement.
Larson is a retired teacher from Fresno City College and political analyst for local media. Caprioglio is a self employed attorney. Both men plan to follow Westerlund's agenda if selected. They also called public safety a major priority
Committee members described the two men as highly qualified. Westerlund said they each have the right abilities to do the job. He said, "For Mr. Larson from at least my perspective, (he has) … knowledge of city workings…For Mr. Caprioglio … analysis and ability to get in depth."
But Susan Good doesn't agree with the process. She is running against Westerlund in June's election. Good wanted the city council to make an appointment after voters cast their ballots. Good said, "By waiting to do the appointment until after the June election, the people of district 4 will have the say. And if they chose that's me, then why shouldn't I be appointed early."
Committee members called their process a fair and open way to deal with an unusual vacancy.
The city council will make a decision next Tuesday. Whoever is selected will be paid by the city and considered a full voting council member. He or she will serve Westerlund's term which expires December 31, 2008.