DETROIT (AP/WWJ) – Second-term Detroit Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins has taken a job leading a nonprofit that helps people pay their heating bills.

The Heat and Warmth Fund said Friday Jenkins has been unanimously selected by its board of directors as chief executive.

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Saunteel Jenkins (credit: City of Detroit)

Saunteel Jenkins (credit: City of Detroit)

Jenkins first was elected to the City Council in 2009 and was re-elected last fall. She tells The Detroit news in a statement that “Detroit is headed in the right direction and has effective leadership who will continue to move the city forward.”

Jenkins’ departure leaves an open at-large seat on council, which according to the revised city charter should be filled by a person voted on by the remaining council members.

Ken Coleman one of the nine members of the Charter Revision commission said that the change in filling a city council vacancy went into effect in 2012.

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“In fact, what Council must do now in order to be in compliance with the Charter is appoint a member to fill the vacancy and the body must do so by at least a two-thirds vote,” Coleman said. “The member that is appointed would serve until the next regularly-scheduled election and at that time there would be an election to replace and fill the vacancy for the rest of the four-year term.”

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey says the city charter calls for a replacement to be appointed by a two-thirds vote of the eight remaining members until the next general election, which is in 2016.

The Associated Press left a message with Jenkins seeking comment.


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