LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — In a 4-0 vote Lynn Haven commissioners named a new commissioner Friday morning.

“I do believe that Mrs. Vandergrift was the most qualified for the position,” Lynn Haven Commissioner Brandon Aldridge said.

But Judy Vandergrift was not the first person commissioners made a motion to appoint. 

Commissioner Jamie Warrick initially motioned for Lynn Haven resident Jeff Snyder to take the open seat. But no commissioner seconded the motion.

“I thought Mr. Snyder was a good candidate because he’s been actively involved in the city,” Warrick said. “He’s been on the planning board for almost four years now. I think he’s got the temperament for it. But that doesn’t mean that Vandergrift wasn’t a good candidate.”

Vandergrift will take the seat previously held by Judy Tinder, who resigned Tuesday with plans to run for mayor. Vandergrift said she hopes to encourage builders to create more housing in Lynn Haven.

“We need to look forward to economic growth,” Vandergrift said. “We need more affordable residential housing.”

But some residents weren’t happy with the choice.

Ryan Scray said the appointment gives Vandergrift a leg up in April’s Municipal Election for the seat.

“When you appoint somebody that you’re essentially telling the voter base, hey, this is who we want in the seat and this is who we think is going to do best in the seat,” Scray said. “So most voters are just going to say, well, if the commission wants them, then we’re going to go ahead and vote for that person.”

Commissioners said it was imperative to appoint a fifth commissioner Friday, in case a vote was split 2-2. 

“It’s important to fill that seat that way we won’t have any stalemate on any issue,” Lynn Haven Mayor Jesse Nelson said.

Vandergrift said she plans to run for the seat in April. Ellyne Fields has filed for the seat as well. She said commissioners should have appointed someone who does not plan to run for the seat in April.

“This is what’s wrong with the city, this is why everybody is angry and there’s bubbles of diversion in our city and they’re causing it,” Fields said. “And when I say ‘they’ it’s the commissioner and the mayor.”

Lynn Haven will hold a candidate forum on March 2 at the Lynn Haven Senior Center at 6 p.m.

The previous version of this story is below:

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — The Lynn Haven Commission appointed longtime Bay District administrator Judy Vandergrift to an open commission seat Friday.

The commission selected Vandergrift over three other candidates. The applicants included Ellyne Fields, who is currently the only person to qualify to run for the seat in April.

The seat became open after Commissioner Judy Tinder stepped down to run for Lynn Haven mayor.

This is a developing story and we will have more later today.