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Editorial: Response to council opening was encouraging

We stated our opinion on the appointment of a new city council member early on in the process. The position vacated when Kurt Bills left for the Minnesota House of Representatives, we argued, should go to the candidate who finished third in November's election.

We reasoned that the fact the third-place candidate -- in this case Tim Judy -- took the time to campaign and the fact Judy trailed second-place finisher Mark DeBettignies by only a handful of votes left council members with a clear indication of who voters wanted to represent them.

The council saw things differently, obviously. And while we disagreed with the approach to the appointment process we have a hard time arguing with the result. By all accounts the 18 candidates who applied for Bills' now-vacant seat were well qualified and enthusiastic about taking on the job. Making a choice wasn't a matter of weeding out the bad options so much as a matter of picking the best of several excellent candidates.

The council's choice, Matt Kearney, seems particularly well suited to deal with some of the challenges the city will encounter in the two years he will serve. That is important, because Kearney will have to get up to speed quickly.

However the decision was made, we were encouraged to see so many excellent candidates step forward to take on a job that will no doubt be challenging. It speaks well of Rosemount residents. If those who were not chosen find other ways to get involved, it is a good sign for the city's future.