The University Place City Council appointed Caroline Belleci to fill the vacant seat once occupied by the late Jean Brooks.
Belleci won the appointment on a 4-2 vote over Ross Hjelseth tonight. Mayor Debbie Klosowski, along with Council members Gerald Gehring, Denise McCluskey and Eric Choiniere voted for Belleci; Council members Ken Grassi and Javier Figueroa voted for Hjelseth.
In Belleci, 51, the UP City Council opted for experience. The active UP resident has served the city since its incorporation in 1995, including on its planning commission. She’s also a member of the state citizen advisory commission that recommends toll rates for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Minutes after her appointment, Belleci said she is still going to seek input from citizens and stay active in the community. “It’s just going to be on a broader scale,” she said.
Her term expires 2011.
She was the first of five candidates interviewed by the UP City Council tonight. It’s search began in December, when Brooks lost her battle with cancer.