Casper City Council on Wednesday named longtime resident and former judge Michael Huber to fill the vacancy left by Amanda Huckabay in Ward I in central Casper earlier this month.

Huber's roots with the city and city government run deep, he said, because his father was a city engineer from 1957 to 1968 and would recount his experiences and mostly admiration of council members.

"Looking clear back to that childhood experience, and all the passions my dad had for planning and for future growth, that was something that was kind of inculcated into myself and my brother and sister -- clear from being little kids," he said after his appointment.

"While I was a judge I frequently thought, 'jeez it would be nice to be on the city council'; of course I couldn't do that all those years," Huber said. "Now this opportunity came along, so I saw it as a time in my life when I could dive into that and see what happens."

Council chose Huber after he and 11 other applicants told the council during a special meeting about their backgrounds, qualifications, reasons for applying, the time commitments they can make, and whether they will run for re-election this fall.

The other candidates were William Conte, Aimee Kidd, Dennis Gazdiewich, Tim Hamre, Warren Youmans, Gabriel Phillips, Vicki Orcutt, Margaret Bloom, Sara Rust, Brandon Daigle and Shea Ward. Their biographies and reasons for their interest in the position can be found on the meeting agenda.

After the applicants' statements, Council went into executive session to deliberate and finished in about 15 minutes.

Mayor Ray Pacheco re-convened the meeting. Council members Bob Hopkins and Chris Walsh complimented the passion and commitment to service of those who applied.

Walsh nominated Huber, who was approved unanimously by the rest of Council.

According to his application, Huber said his top five priorities as a council member would be public safety -- police and fire; public services -- water, sewer, garbage and streets; traffic planning; planning and code enforcement; and leisure services.

Huber, 66, said later that the city already is working on these issues. He also knows that he has a steep learning curve as a new council member.

Huber was a circuit court judge for 32 years, and is occasionally asked to serve on the bench. He will need to confer with city officials if he will be able to continue serving in that limited capacity, he said. He earned his juris doctor degree from Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Neb.

His business interests include being a partner in the KC Land and Livestock Co., near Kaycee and co-owning trailer court rental property. He has served as a firefighter on the Casper Mountain Fire District since 1970, and has served as a volunteer ski patrolman on the Casper Mountain Ski patrol since 1967, according to his resume.

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