Huntington Beach council elects new mayor but bypasses rotation for mayor pro tem

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HUNTINGTON BEACH —  The City Council on Monday night time voted in a new mayor — Mike Posey — but broke with a decades-old rotation course of, bypassing Councilman Billy O’Connell for mayor pro tem and placing Erik Peterson within the place, each by a Four-Three vote.

Councilwoman Lyn Semeta, who nominated Peterson, stated her fundamental cause to vote towards O’Connell was his frequent recusals on the dialogue of points the place he has conflicts of curiosity due to his property holdings and enterprise pursuits within the metropolis.

“He’s had to recuse himself so many times,” stated Semeta, including that the recusals would forestall him from operating conferences successfully.

Peterson, who additionally voted towards O’Connell, stated the councilman has recused himself “well over 40 times,” since taking workplace.

O’Connell had additionally been criticized for his feedback at an October assembly about allegations towards Police Department administration that he needed investigated.

Three of his colleagues introduced ahead a request to censure O’Connell within the following assembly. The censure was dropped after O’Connell expressed remorse in an early November assembly, but he once more started talking about his issues in late November throughout his feedback on the finish of the assembly. In neither case was the police problem on the agenda.

“He seemed to have a disregard of protocol,” Semeta stated in regards to the extemporaneous feedback.

After Monday’s assembly, O’Connell stated he had “no comment whatsoever” in regards to the vote.

“Those backroom decisions will kill ya,” he stated with amusing. “I’ll be back stronger than ever.”

Former mayor and present Councilwoman Jill Hardy spoke towards bypassing O’Connell and stated the decision for the rotation of mayors was put in to cease backroom offers being made to decide on mayors.

Although she stated she was unaware of any brokering in regard to O’Connell, she stated she understood why the general public would possibly assume in any other case.

“It’s about fairness,” Hardy stated of sustaining the method, “It should never be about a single person. It’s about what’s right and what’s better for the city.”

Peterson stated he was shocked when he was nominated and had not mentioned something about it together with his colleagues.

“I’m a real stickler for those things,” he stated.

Former Mayor Peter Green, who helped craft the decision to arrange the rotation for mayor, spoke in regards to the present system, which was adopted within the 1980s. Under the rotation system, council members advance by the variety of votes they acquired of their election.

O’Connell completed forward of Peterson but behind Posey within the 2014 election.

Hardy argued that by their votes the council members had been bypassing the individuals’s vote.

Before the O’Connell problem, the assembly was extra about ceremony and swearing in. As is customary on the primary assembly of December, the outgoing and incoming mayors exchanged items between themselves and colleagues earlier than the gavel was handed over to the new mayor.

Mayor Barbara Delgleize presided over the majority of enterprise earlier than passing duties to Posey.

Posey was sworn in by former Mayor Jim Silva, one in all 9 former mayors on the assembly, together with Hardy and Delgleize.

In her departing feedback Delgleize bracketed her recollections of the previous yr as mayor of Surf City by speaking about — browsing. She began with the profitable try and set a new Guinness World Record for the most important paddle out, and concluded with a story about efficiently driving a wave for the primary time with the assistance of a surf teacher.

She stated she was happy with the creation of a committee engaged on Central Park and a Citizen’s Academy, a nine-week course that launched residents and activists to the inside workings of town.

After taking the oath, Posey laid out an formidable agenda for his yr on the helm, aiming to tackle a big selection of points from infrastructure to the homeless.

In different metropolis council information:

At the request of town’s Auto Dealers Association, town dissolved the enterprise enchancment district, which was established in 1992. The district, or BID, consisted of automotive sellers that banded collectively and paid assessments levied by town to advertise their collective financial profit and revitalize their district in addition to pay for the digital billboard close to the San Diego (I-405) Freeway, which has been paid for.

The council additionally determined in closed part to enchantment a latest courtroom determination in favor of Ocean View School District board member John Briscoe, who had sued town after he was denied public data he had requested for data on town’s inspection of the Republic Waste disposal facility.

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