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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 12:24 pm | A Few Clouds 60º


James Mosby to Fill Lompoc City Council Vacancy Created by Bob Lingl’s Election As Mayor

During special meeting Saturday, four-member council taps utilities commissioner from field of 12 applicants

The Lompoc City Council went shopping Saturday for a fifth member before choosing a lifelong resident who serves on the Santa Barbara County Parks Commission.

James Mosby was picked from a field of 12 applicants by a 3-1 vote during the two-hour special meeting Saturday.

Mayor Bob Lingl cast the lone opposition vote.

Mosby, 50, said after the meeting that the selection “kind of caught me off guard. I wasn’t really sure which direction it was going to go.”

He noted that the City Council has a tendency to go into the wee hours of the morning, and braced for the possibility the four members might not reach a consensus Saturday and would have to meet again next week.

“I am still a little shell-shocked,” he said.

Mosby has served on the Lompoc Utilities Commission for the past two years but must resign from that role with his appointment to the council.

He was named to the county Parks Commission by Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam in 2012, but expects to continue that role.

Mosby also will step down from leading the nonprofit Lompoc Valley Parks, Recreation and Pool Foundation.

A couple of years ago, Mosby was at the center of a controversy over a recreational facility on his land just east of the city, as county officials contended the use wasn’t permitted.

Running for the City Council had been on his mind, he said. 

“I had some minor plans in two years from now of potentially running, and that’s one of the reasons why I made the commitment to try to learn as much about the process of this town as I have, and made the commitment in the last four years to get involved ...,” Mosby said.

He also said he has regularly attended City Council meetings for the past four years.

Mosby submitted his application for the council vacancy on the final day.

“I saw the opportunity and the need for it, and decided to put my name in there and see what happened,” he said. “Have to start somewhere, right?”

The new council member will finish the final two years left on Lingl’s term after his recent election as mayor.

Before voting, the council heard brief statements from the dozen people who applied for the job.

Among those who applied were third place vote-getter Ann Ruhge plus other previously unsuccessful candidates — Darrell W. Tullis, David G. Grill, Robert Cuthbert, Frank Campo and Steve Chudoba.

Former Mayor John Linn, ousted in the Nov. 4 race that Lingl won, also applied.

Rounding out the field of applicants were Jenelle Osborne, Christian Martinez, John Fragosa and Adrienne Boyd.

The dozen candidates included the seven people who were unsuccessful in the races for the council and mayoral seats in the Nov. 4 election.

Others, such as Osborne and Mosby, were familiar for their roles serving on city committees. And a few of the applicants were newcomers to city politics.

While some residents had urged the council to select the third-place vote-getter to fill the vacancy, the four men were split on choosing Ruhge to fill the position during the Dec. 2 meeting.

During Saturday’s meeting, the first round of ballots to narrow the field saw Mosby get three votes, Osborne get two votes and one each for Fragosa and Tullis, City Administrator Patrick Wiemiller said.

With Mosby getting three marks on the unofficial ballot, Councilman Victor Vega made the motion to appoint him and Councilman Dirk Starbuck seconded the nomination, which passed as Councilman DeWayne Holmdahl cast the third vote.

“All of the candidates were good,” Vega said after the meeting. “But basically when it comes down to it, there were a couple who stood out from the rest.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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