City of Exeter looks to Sally’s wife to serve remainder of term

Exeter City Council prepares to appoint Barbara Sally to fulfill the rest of her late husband’s term on the council 

By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN

EXETER – Dale Sally’s sudden passing on July 2 caught most people off guard, because by most accounts his health was improving. Since the community gathered for a celebration of his life two weeks ago, the City has begun the process of filling his seat for the rest of his term. Fortunately for them the late Sally’s wife Barbara, would like to finish out her late husband’s term.

Dale Sally Jr. Council member recently deceased

Dale Sally Jr.
Council member recently deceased

Exeter city manager Adam Ennis said he received an email from Barbara expressing interest in the seat. On July 24, the four remaining city council members decided it would be best to offer the seat to Barbara before deciding whether to appoint a position or solicit applications.

“If Barbara was interested in doing it I think it would be appropriate, she was involved in quite a bit,” councilman Jeremy Petty said.

“I spoke with Barbara personally and she expressed interest and I’m fine with that,” councilman Gordon Gerdes added. 

Gerdes also said he was unsure if Barbara would want to run for the seat after Dale’s term ends in 2020.

Before Barbara decided to throw her hat in the ring the council was already beginning to encourage applicants from Sally’s District B. According to the city, because Sally was elected at large in 2016 the council could have appointed someone as long as they were a resident of Exeter. But the council was trying to be cautious and give whoever would be filling the vacancy the option to run as an incumbent in the 2020 election.

City attorney Julia Lew said the council should gather an official letter of interest before deciding to appoint Barbara. The council will have to appoint her at one of their two regularly scheduled meetings this month, and before the 60-day requirement from when Councilman Sally passed.

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