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City Council Executive Committee recommends former Ald. Matt Phair to fill vacancy

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A Madison City Council committee is recommending that former Ald. Matt Phair fill a vacancy in the 20th District on the Far West and Southwest sides created by the resignation of Ald. Christian Albouras.

Phair, a teacher in the Mount Horeb School District since 2008 who holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Edgewood College and a master’s degree in teaching from Pacific University, represented the council’s 20th District from April 2011 through April 2019, when he didn’t seek reelection.

The council’s Executive Committee on Wednesday recommended Phair from among four candidates. The others are Justin Novotney, Joseph Ryan and Aslam Rakhangi.

The full City Council will consider the recommendation at its next meeting on June 7. The appointed council member will begin serving immediately and at least until a new member is elected in April 2023. Phair said that, if appointed, he doesn’t intend to run to retain the seat, although he didn’t rule it out.

Albouras, elected in 2019 and reelected in 2021, and his family will be leaving the city’s Meadowood Neighborhood and moving into a new home on the West Side outside the 20th District. His resignation was effective on May 20.

Meanwhile, the council has also begun the process of filling another vacancy due to the recently announced resignation of Ald. Arvina Martin, 11th District. Martin resigned from the council effective May 25 to focus more on her family, personal life and a new job at Emerge Wisconsin, an organization that assists Democratic women seeking public office.

The application process for the 11th District seat is open until 4:30 p.m. Friday, with Executive Committee interviews and a recommendation set for June 1 and a council decision on an appointment on June 7.

For more information about applying to be appointed, contact council President Keith Furman at 608-912-0000 or; council Vice President Jael Currie at 608-516-7151 or; or council chief of staff Karen Kapusta-Pofahl at 608-261-9159 or

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