In a split vote, Lacy Lakeview City Council appointed the husband of a sitting member Tuesday to fill the vacancy left by former Mayor Pro Tem Denise Cogliati’s resignation.

Jerry Hall, 46, was chosen out of the two candidates who applied for the opening. Hall, who works for Esco Laminating, is married to Council Member Amy Hall.

Richard Lednicky was the only other resident who applied for the position.

Jerry Hall has spent the past two years on the city’s planning and zoning committee, and this will be his first time as a council member.

During the interview portion, Mayor Calvin Hodde asked Hall to convince the council he and his wife could vote their own conscience without a conflict of interest.

Hall said he and his wife have disagreed over the years, including on issues handled by the council, so he is confident he will choose his own path.

Council member Barbara Seitz asked what fresh ideas Hall would bring as an elected official.

Hall said he would like to find new ways to fix the streets in the city.

“That’s the biggest problem I have with Lacy Lakeview. Otherwise, I kind of like the way things are going with the city council,” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Clark asked City Attorney David Deaconson if there are any issues with a husband and wife serving on the city council simultaneously.

Deaconson said the biggest risk is perception, but there are no legal issues.

Hodde said both candidates were good candidates, and it was a difficult decision.

Cogliati resigned May 5 because she moved out of the city.

Amy Hall abstained on the vote for her husband, and Seitz voted against the appointment.

Hodde then made a motion for Council Member Patrick Bell to be the next mayor pro tem. However, Bell declined, saying his plate is already full.

Council member Amy Hall made a motion, which was subsequently approved, for Clark to be the next mayor pro tem.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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