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Chula Vista Moves Toward A Fully Staffed City Council

Photo caption:

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Cars pass under the Third Avenue sign in downtown Chula Vista, Oct. 7, 2014.

The open seat on the Chula Vista City Council will be filled by appointment. The mayor and three sitting council members will select their top candidates Monday.

The county's second largest city is one seat away from a fully staffed city council. Chula Vista Council members on Monday will notify the city clerk of their top candidates for the seat, which remains open since the election of Mayor Mary Salas in November.

Chula Vista City Council

Contrary to the strong-mayor form of government in San Diego, the Chula Vista City Council includes four members plus the mayor.

  1. Mayor Mary Casilla Salas
  2. Councilwoman Pat Aguilar
  3. Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan
  4. Councilman John McCann
  5. Open Council Seat

Under a new rule, Salas and the three council members can vote to appoint someone instead of hosting a special election that can cost about $500,000.

Salas leaves behind two years on her council term. Each council member must select at least two candidates out of the 44 applicants. Candidates who receive at least two votes will be interviewed at a public meeting on Thursday.

Salas says she’s looking for someone who will work well with the council but also get things done.

“There’s so many great projects going on in Chula Vista, I really want someone to serve that can hit the ground running, that knows the issues and what’s facing the city of Chula Vista ahead," she said, referring to job-creating projects such as developing the city's bayfront.

The city charter requires the council to approve one candidate by at least three votes before Jan. 23, or a special election is required.

Salas' spot was one of two council seats open in the weeks following the Nov. 4 election. A tight race between John McCann and Steve Padilla dragged out for more than a month until McCann was declared the winner following a recount, which was ultimately suspended.

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