During the regular meeting of the Cypress City Council on July 12, 2021, the Council handled issues resulting from the resignation of Mayor Pro Tem Stacy Berry.
First, the Council selected a new Mayor Pro Tem, unanimously appointing Councilmember Paolo Morales to the position. Mayor Pro Tem Morales also assumed a number of organization and committee roles previously held by Stacy Berry, which are traditionally held by the current Mayor Pro Tem, while the remainder were left vacant for the time being.
The Council then had to determine the process for filling the empty position on the City Council; California state law and the Cypress City Charter require that the vacancy be filled within 60 days or a special election be called to fill the vacancy. Beyond that, the City Council is given a great deal of leeway as to how the vacancy is filled.
City Manager Pete Grant presented the Council with two options initially: to call a special election or to appoint a new City Council Member without a vote from the public. The County Registrar of Voters estimated the cost of a special election to be approximately $250,000. The Council opted for the appointment process.
They then had to decide whether to simply appoint an eligible person to the position or to conduct an application and interview process.
During the Council meeting, Blaze Bhence and Carrie Hayashida requested that the Council appoint the candidate who came in third during the 2020 election. Both Mr. Bhence and Ms. Hayashida ran along with a crowded bench of seven other candidates for the two open seats, which were ultimately filled by Anne Hertz and Frances Marquez. Ms. Hayashisa came in third place.
The Council opted to hold an application and interview process, and then set down a basic timetable for application acceptance and the interviews. The deadline to make an appointment or trigger a special election is September 3.
If you would like to apply to the City Council, information is available at the Cypress City website. Applicants must be registered to vote, a Cypress resident, and cannot have served on the City Council for eight or more years (which includes all previous members of the City Council since the turn of the century). Interviews will be held August 9-13, 2021, and applicants will be required to appear in-person.
The next regular meeting of the Cypress City Council is scheduled for August 23, 2021. As of this time, public seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, but members of the public are invited to participate virtually. Links to the webinar are available through the meeting agenda, which is published online at the City website in advance of the meeting.