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UW-Whitewater student fills vacant city council seat

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Kevin Hoffman
November 17, 2011
— UW-Whitewater junior Stephanie Abbott will begin an abbreviated term on the city council, taking over for Javonni Butler, who last month was forced to resign.

The city council Tuesday chose Abbott from three applicants to fill a five-month term in the vacant District 2 seat. The district, on the cityís northwest side, is predominantly made up of college students.


The position opened in October after Butler pleaded guilty to felony delivery of marijuana. Butler, who was serving his second term on the council, was ordered to spend 45 days in jail. He was forced to relinquish his seat on the council because state statutes prohibit felons from holding elected office.


Butlerís plea agreement includes a provision that allows the felony to be expunged in 2013 if he maintains a clean record.


Abbott, who also is speaker of the senate for UW-Whitewater student government, was chosen Tuesday to succeed Butler after the council heard a short speech from each candidate. She immediately took the oath of office and joined the council for the second half of the meeting.


Her appointment came after the council adopted the city budget. Abbott said she followed the local and state budget process but was relieved she didnít have to take a last-minute position on its approval.


ďIt was nice not to have to jump in in the middle,Ē she said.


The councilís next meeting is Dec. 6.


Abbott is a political science major with minors in both French and English. One area of interest for her is improving the relationship between city residents and college students, she said.


Abbott spent two years as a member of student government, but she will not join the organization next semester. She said that would allow her more time for city council duties.


The District 2 seat is up for election in April. Abbott said she plans to add her name to the ballot in pursuit of full two-year term.



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