Opening on Santa Monica City Council

Santa Monica City Council has accepted the resignation of Tony Vazquez. Photo: Courtesy.

Application now open to public.

By Staff Writer

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, January 8, Santa Monica City Council accepted Councilmember Tony Vazquez’s resignation, declared a vacant seat and discussed options to fill his vacancy.

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“Applications for the vacant seat will be accepted and Council will select a replacement for the remainder of Vazquez’s term, which will end November 3, 2020, absent any earlier special election that may be required in connection with the pending case of Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica,” the City said in a statement.

On November 6, 2018, Santa Monica City Councilmember Tony Vazquez was elected to a seat on the California Board of Equalization. State law governing incompatible offices prohibits an individual from serving simultaneously on both the State Board of Equalization and the City Council of the City of Santa Monica. Therefore Councilmember Vazquez has submitted a letter of resignation stating his intent to voluntarily relinquish his seat on the City Council effective January 7, 2019, the date on which he was sworn into the State Board of Equalization.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked towards and accomplished so many City objectives during my tenure. I have been honored to serve with so many committed elected officials who have worked so hard to achieve our City goals, and I am still passionate about the City of Santa Monica’s mission,” reads Vazquez’s letter of resignation.

Santa Monica City Charter Section 603 states that any vacancy on City Council “shall be filled by appointment by the City Council, with the appointee holding office until the first Tuesday following the next general municipal election and until the appointee’s successor is elected and qualified.”

Section 603 goes onto say that, should the Council fail to fill a vacancy by appointment within thirty days after the office has been declared vacant, the Council shall immediately force an election to be held to fill the vacancy.

In the past two decades, the Council’s custom when a City Council seat has become vacant has been to adopt a motion to accept applications from residents for the vacant seat, direct staff to publish announcements of the vacancy in relevant locations and establish a deadline for the receipt of applications and letters of interest.

Notices advertising the vacancy are posted on the City’s website and social media sites, by distribution to local media sources and in other appropriate locations.

Applications for the vacant seat are available online at smgov.net/councilappoint. To be eligible, an applicant must be a Santa Monica resident and registered to vote and cannot be a City employee.

The application deadline is noon on Thursday, January 17, 2019. All applications will be considered by City Council at the January 22, 2019 Council meeting.

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