16 Applicants Vie for Vacant City Council Seat

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No one can say La Cañada Flintridge residents aren’t civically engaged: Sixteen applicants have emerged to fill the City Council’s unscheduled vacancy.
The large field of applicants all hope to fill the seat that became vacant in May following the death of Dave Spence, a longtime councilman and six-time mayor.
It is the second time a member of the LCF City Council has died while in office. Jack Hastings’ death in 1997 led to a special election in 1998 in which Deborah Orlik was elected to fill the vacancy for the remaining 10 months on that term, beating out Anthony Portantino by two votes.
The applicants are: Gregory Brown, Peter Chung, Keith Eich, Rod Essen, Charles Gelhaar, Rick Gunter, Brett Johnston, John Hicks, Charlie Kamar, Lara Kayayan, Nalini Lasiewicz, Lainie Miller, Joe Radabaugh, Candice Rosen, Jack Schaedel and Wesley Walton.
Before Wednesday’s City Council meeting, at which members were to discuss the process for interviewing all the applicants next week, Mayor Michael Davitt said he isn’t surprised there is a lot of interest in the position, though he wasn’t expecting quite so much.
“People had expressed an interest,” Davitt said. “If there were 10, I don’t know if that would have been so much of a surprise, but [16] is more than what I would’ve anticipated.
“It’s a positive that there are so many people who express interest in getting involved; it’s a nice reflection of the community.”
Per California law, the City Council had a choice to either make an appointment or call for a special election, which would cost the city an estimated $78,000. LCF had 60 days from the date of the start of the vacancy — or until July 14 — to appoint or submit the resolutions to the County Registrar-Recorder setting forth a special municipal election.
On May 30, the four sitting council members, Mayor Michael Davitt, Mayor Pro Tem Terry Walker, Jonathan Curtis and Len Pieroni, directed staff to proceed with an application process. By the deadline Friday, June 30, those applicants included a past City Council member and Council candidates, city commissioners, local business owners and other community leaders all vying to serve a term that would last through the next general municipal election in March 2019.
Special meetings were tentatively scheduled for July 11, 12 and 13, at which the City Council will interview the applicants. According to the agenda item for Wednesday’s City Council meeting, council members will deliberate and make a selection for appointment at the meeting when interviews are concluded.
If additional time is needed to deliberate, an additional special meeting would be held to ensure that the appointment happens before July 14.
If the City Council fails to reach a consensus, it still could call for a special election to be held on the next regularly established election date, which would be Tuesday, Nov. 7. Through that process, the individual elected would serve the entire remaining balance of the unexpired term — through March 2021.
Council members planned to discuss their options at Wednesday’s meeting (which was postponed a day on account of the Fourth of July holiday.)
For information, visit lcf.ca.gov.

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