The Guadalupe City Council bid farewell to one member and launched the search for his replacement.
Councilman Antonio “Tony” Ramirez has resigned with two years left in his second term on the panel.
Ramirez, 35, submitted his resignation in October, stating that it would take effect Nov. 29.
He plans to attend school outside Santa Barbara County to earn his doctorate in education.
At Ramirez’s final meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Ariston Julian presented him with a proclamation and plaque.
“We appreciate your service to the community and to the council,” Julian said, noting that Ramirez’s final meeting involved some important items such as the adoption to the city’s General Plan to guide growth through 2042.
The proclamation expressing appreciation to Ramirez for his service noted that the city benefited from “his time, energy, knowledge and strength in numerous matters and by his willingness to commit to difficult decisions which were in the city’s best interest.”
It also recognized his humor as well as his dedicated leadership and his service to the people of Guadalupe.
Ramirez was first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. He most recently served as mayor pro-term.
“This is a very surreal moment right here,” Ramirez said. “Six years ago, I had no idea I would actually be in this position with this platform.
“I’ve been able to help not only my own growth, but I hope for the city’s growth as well. This next step is something that’s super super difficult. … I’m excited to see where Guadalupe is going. I know that it’s going to go very far.”
He has worked at Allan Hancock College as a counselor for eight years.
“This is just a see-ya-later-but-I’ll-definitely-be-back kind of moment,” he said Tuesday night.
Council members can fill vacancies through an appointment or special election with the latter typically rejected as too costly and time-consuming.
The city has solicited letters from candidates, setting a Dec. 6 deadline for those seeking to replace Ramirez for remainder of his term, which ends in December 2024. Candidates must reside in the city of Guadalupe and must be a registered voter.
The letters will be reviewed by the council at the Dec. 13 meeting with finalists to be interviewed in public at the Jan. 10 meeting. Selection of the new member would occur at the Jan. 10 or Jan. 24 meeting, according to the schedule.
The recent election saw incumbents Julian and Eugene Costa Jr. re-elected to new terms. Additionally, Christina Hernandez, a community outreach coordinator, has been elected to her first term after incumbent Liliana Cardenas did not run for re-election.
Only the three candidates appeared on the Nov. 8 ballot.
The swearing-in ceremony for all three is scheduled to occur at the Dec. 13 meeting.