The majority of the Galt City Council members decided to not fill Councilman Darryl Clare's seat before asking for public comment at its Tuesday meeting.
Still, some of the candidates for the temporary position tried to sway the council to make an appointment.
Because there are four council members, Mattie Shepherd Krachunis questioned what the council will do when it has split votes.
"I feel like it is an injustice to the community to not have a full council," Krachunis said.
Clare resigned on Aug. 5, so the council could either appoint someone to fill the position or leave it open until the Nov. 2 election.
On Aug. 4, the council voted to appoint Marylou Powers to serve the rest of Andrew Meredith's term. He resigned on July 7.
Mayor Randy Shelton said the council should decide whether or not to fill the position before asking for the public to weigh in.
Councilman Donald Haines was the first to speak, saying that he continues to believe the council should not make an appointment. He was the only council member to not support filling Meredith's seat.
"I don't see the need to bring a fifth person in this close to an election," Haines said.
Powers said she also wanted to leave the position open. Then, Shelton said he would also agree to not fill the seat to prevent a split vote.
Payne was the only councilmember who wanted to appoint someone.
"I'd like to have a full council," she said. "You never know what is going to happen in the future."
At least five of the people who submitted applications for the temporary position attended the meeting.
Al Baldwin, who applied for the job, said the council should operate with a positive attitude and realize it has knowledgeable candidates who want to serve.
"The hopes were brought up, and they were just let down. ... We all should be considered as strongly and enthusiastically as Marylou was," he said.
After saying he was surprised by the council's decision, resident Shawn Farmer said it would hurt the democratic election process to appoint someone.
"If you would fill the open seat and vote on a big issue, you would be cheating the public," Farmer said.
At the end of the meeting, Shelton thanked everyone for their interest in serving.
"We have four councilmembers and we'll move on," he said. "I know the four of us are going to pull ourselves together."