Fullerton residents may see the vacant City Council seat filled by an appointment rather than a special election after the Council voted to move forward with an appointment process.
“It doesn’t mean we’re going to appoint someone, but it does mean we’re looking at candidates,” Mayor Jesus Silva said. “If, at the end of the day, we cannot agree on someone, then it goes … to a special election and we start the campaign season again for those of you who are interested.”
According to state law, the City has until Feb. 2 to appoint someone to fill the vacancy, or a special election will automatically be held Nov. 5. The idea of holding a mail-in election at an earlier date was floated at the Dec. 18 meeting. That could have saved the city nearly $200,000 for an election. But a Jan. 9 email exchange between Registrar of Voters Neal Kelly and City Manager Ken Domer said the city is too large to qualify for a mail-in election.
The City Council voted 3-1 Jan. 15 to call a Jan. 29 special meeting and potentially appoint someone to fill the vacancy. Councilman Bruce Whitaker dissented.
The vacancy happened after Silva beat former Councilman Greg Sebourn for the eastern 3rd district seat, vacating Silva’s at-large seat with two years left on the term.