The Hope City Board of Directors is seeking to fill a vacancy for the second time in recent years.

The Hope City Board of Directors is seeking to fill a vacancy for the second time in recent years. Hope City Director and former Vice Mayor David Johnson announced his retirement from board service in a letter to Mayor Dennis Ramsey on March 18. The retirement, according to Johnson's letter, was immediate. That left the board with a opening to fill at a time when the board will be faced with a weighty decision regarding wastewater rates and the need to make at least $3 million in repairs to the City's wastewater system. Hope City Manager Catherine Cook said Friday that no applicants had been forthcoming at that time, and Ramsey said this morning he has had “a couple of inquiries, but they did not live in the proper zone.” Johnson represented City Ward No. 2, an area which essentially encompasses the heart of Hope. Extending form Hickory Street to the north and East Ninth Street to the south, the district is bounded on the east by one block of South Betts Street between East Second and East Third streets, and on the west by Fulton Street, immediately south of the Union-Pacific Railroad. Cook said that applicants for the position must have resided within Ward 2 for at least the 30 days prior to their appointment, and must be a registered voter of current standing in Hempstead County. “I don't know that there is an age limit, except that you have to be 18 years old to vote,” she said. There is no formal application, according to Cook and Ramsey; and, qualified interested residents may simply make their interest known to Ramsey, or other City directors, including Doodle Franklin, Willie Walker, Steve Montgomery, Don Still, or Don Hall; or, contact Cook at Hope City Hall to make their interest known. “I'm sure the board would like to have expressions of interest in writing,” Cook said. While both Cook and Ramsey said the board is not working under any formal deadline, Cook noted that board would like to fill the position as quickly as possible. “I've got the feeling they would like to fill the position at the next board meeting at the earliest,” Cook said. Montgomery, who was named vice mayor after Johnson was removed by the board, is the only other board member currently serving from an original appointment. He replaced former Vice Mayor Bucky Sharpe.