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Council Meeting Recap: Mar. 11, 2021

All council members were present for the Thursday, March 11 City Council meeting. Open session started at 5:01 p.m. and ended at 5:58 p.m. Here are the highlights:


Council calls for Special Election as Appointments Fall Through. The council unanimously approved resolution 21-033, calling and giving notice for a special election to be held Tuesday Nov 2, 2021 after every nomination to fill the vacancy failed to a 2-2 vote. Council members dug deep in their divided trenches with Mayor Lula Davis Holmes and Councilmember Cedric Hicks voting together on one side and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear and Councilmember Jawane Hilton on the other. The meeting ran in a contentious cycle with one team motioning to appoint an applicant just to be countered by a substitute nomination from the other team.

While the councilmembers stated that many of the 46 applicants would be excellent for the betterment of the city, Hicks and Davis-Holmes supported the appointment of Jaime Monteclaro, Freddie Gomez, Jesus-Alex Cainglet, and Charles Thomas for the vacant position while Dear and Hilton backed Elito Santarina, Jerry Groomes, Brandi Williams-Murdock, and Isaias Pulido.


Realizing an agreement was not going to be made, the council decided it would be best to let the voters decide with Councilmember Hicks stating, “You need to give it back to the voters and let them determine who they want. May the best woman or man win this election.” Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear reminded the public that the special election will be in district form, meaning the candidates and their voters must all be registered in district 4. Mayor Davis-Holmes thanked everyone who applied and assured the public that despite the lack of unity tonight, the council will be alright. “Me and MPT usually agree but this time we didn’t and that’s alright.”


The City Clerk mentioned during the Mar 2 meeting that a districted election for around 15,195 registered voters would cost approx. $178,000.


Reminder: Show Up to 2nd Vaccination Appointment. Councilmember Jawane Hilton informed the public that individuals who received their first vaccination shot from Dignity Health should have received a post card in the mail notifying of their 2nd appointment. Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear also reminded those receiving their 2nd shot to bring their vaccination card to their appointment. Additionally, Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes shared some great news stating that Prevailing In Christ Ministries will be offering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to emergency service workers and seniors 65+ on Saturday Mar 20th from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Davis-Holmes thanked Pastor Ealey for his help in setting up the vaccination event. Call (310) 604 9939 to schedule an appointment.