November’s city election prompted the return of Jim Dear to the city council.
Dear’s win meant the end of a 16-year city council career for Elito M. Santarina, spurring a heated argument regarding the city’s change to even year elections, and what that meant for previously voted on officials.
In a contentious council meeting on Jan. 8, Councilman Santarina and Mayor Al Robles questioned the legality of removing Santarina from the dais after having only fulfilled three years and nine months of his four year term that began in 2015. After much debate, Dear was eventually seated on the dais.
Dear previously served as Mayor from 2004 to 2015, before resigning his post to become the City Clerk, from which he was later recalled. Dear took second place in the election, behind Lula Davis-Holmes who received more than 11,000 votes.
Davis-Holmes has already declared her intention to challenge Mayor Robles in next year’s Mayoral race, which will also see councilmembers Cedrick Hicks and Jawane Hilton due for re-election.
The City’s next regular election will be held in conjunction with the 2020 Presidential election, on Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020.