Council to appoint successor to Cox’s seat

District 1 residents may submit resume and cover letter by July 27 to apply for seat vacated by the late Phil Cox

VISALIA – After a few weeks to mourn the death of vice mayor Phil Cox, the city of Visalia must now begin the task of filling his seat on the city council.

The Visalia City Council held a special meeting on June 30 to discuss how it would proceed with finding Cox’s successor for the District 1 seat on the council. The council discussed three options including placing the seat on the ballot for the consolidated election held in November on odd years, call a special election next April or appoint someone to serve out until the midterm election in November 2022. The council chose to appoint someone on a 4-0 vote.

“At the most recent open session meeting, a unanimous vote was cast by the city council to go through the appointment process and consider candidates to fill the District 1 vacancy most previously held by the late Vice Mayor Phil Cox,” Mayor Steve Nelsen said in a released statement.

Those interested in applying for the appointment may submit a resume and cover letter to the city of Visalia’s Administration Office. All submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27. Only those residing in District 1 may apply. The district extends north to the city limits, west to Akers and east to Mooney Boulevard north of Highway 198 and Demaree to the west, County Center to the east and Whitendale to the south, south of Highway 198. If you are not sure which district you live in, you can access the interactive map at

To submit via mail, paperwork should be sent to Office of the Chief Deputy city Clerk, c/o City of Visalia Administration, 220 N. Santa Fe Ave., Visalia, CA 93292. To submit electronically, paperwork can be emailed to [email protected].

“Once all interested persons living in District 1 have submitted their information, an interview date with the city council will be scheduled,” Nelsen added.

Interviews will be held beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4. If needed, final interviews will be Thursday, August 12 beginning at 4 p.m. No alternate dates are expected to be scheduled. The city council must decide to appoint or call an April special election by August 13, 2021.

The appointed successor will not serve the balance of the term left by Cox’s passing, but rather serve until the next regular municipal election in November of 2022, at which time someone will be elected for the final two years of the term. This means there will be four seats on the November 2022 ballot including District 1, District 3 (Brian Poochigian), District 4 (Greg Collins) and District 5 (Steve Nelsen). The District 2 seat (Brett Taylor) will not be on the ballot until November 2024.

Interested persons are invited to reach out to senior staff and/or the city council to learn more about the position and the organization. To schedule an appointment, contact City of Visalia Administration at 559-713-4355.

For more details on the Visalia City Council, and to see the interactive map noting the city’s districts, visit

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