Two former Santa Maria City Council members and Etta Waterfield, who narrowly lost her bid for the seat in the November election, are among 14 applicants for the open seat on the council.
Applications for those interested in filling the remaining two years of Mayor Alice Patino’s four-year term were due to the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The City Council has been deadlocked on how to fill the seat since new members were sworn in two months ago, but the council voted 3-1 in favor of the application process during a meeting last week, with Patino dissenting.
Fourteen qualified applications and one that didn’t qualify because the applicant failed to meet the voter registration requirement were received by the deadline, according to the City Clerk’s Office.
Mike Cordero and Marty Mariscal, former council members who lost their bids for mayor in November, put their names in, as well as Waterfield, who was the third-highest vote-getter in the council election and has received vocal support from Patino and Councilman Bob Orach.
Also on the list are Henry Grennan, a former longtime Allan Hancock College trustee, Luis Escobar, Kristine Mollenkopf, Clete Boyal, Kevin Gotchal, Willie Green, Kaleb Norris, Cole Lucas, Morris Taubman, Janeen Burgan-Miller and James Truman Bartlett.
Next up, each applicant will give a five-minute oral presentation during the open session of Tuesday’s council meeting, at which time council members can ask questions and make an appointment.
City Manager Rick Haydon has said that although that meeting will be past the Feb. 16 deadline, which puts the council in violation of the 60-day government rule that states an appointment or special election must take place, he doesn’t consider it an actual deviance because Feb. 16 is a Saturday and the Monday before the meeting is President’s Day.
If the council again deadlocks and continues the matter, they will be in violation of the rule, and any interested person could force the council to call a special election.