2012-05-24 / Community
Council votes to fill Glancy vacancy in November
No interim appointee will be made
The City Council seat vacated by Tom Glancy, who resigned on May 11 and died last week of cancer (see related story on page 1), will be filled in a November special election that will coincide with the city’s regular election.
The council voted 4-0 to leave Glancy’s position empty for five months until voters can decide who will replace him on Nov. 6.
The other option permitted by state law was to appoint someone to the position for the remainder of Glancy’s term, which would have ended in November.
In March, the council appointed Joel Price to replace Councilmember Dennis Gillette, who stepped down because of health issues.
The decision drew criticism from some in the community, especially critics of the council majority.
Planning Commissioner Mic Farris, who started a petition in favor of a law that would require elections to fill vacancies, was one of several local residents unhappy with the prior appointment who addressed the council before the vote.
“I would urge you to leave it vacant. Allow the voters the opportunity to pick who they feel is best fit in that seat. It is their seat. You are their representatives,” Farris said at Tuesday’s meeting.
About 7,000 petition signatures have been collected so far for his initiative, Farris said.
“There’s a strong sense in the community that the previous decisions were not in the voters’ best interests,” he said.
Mayor Jacqui Irwin stood by the appointment process.
“For me the decision . . . was stability for the city. I didn’t think it was appropriate to run with three council members until November. I make decisions based on what I think is best for the city,” Irwin said.
Councilmember Andy Fox defended the council’s decision to fill Gillette’s seat by appointment given that Glancy was also fighting terminal cancer at the time.
“With only three members on the council, we ran the real risk of not being able to conduct city business,” Fox said. “It’s my view that we would have been borderline reckless in rolling the dice to try to fill two seats in the upcoming election.”
Councilmember Claudia Billde la Peña disagreed.
“We had three council seats open in 2010 when all three incumbents ran for reelection. It’s not unusual,” she said. “There would not have been any threat or any danger. In fact, I very much regret that the residents were not given the opportunity to vote for a replacement for Mr. Gillette in November.”
In separate votes, the council also approved resolutions consolidating the city and statewide elections, adopting candidate statement guidelines and costs, and calling for elections to fill two seats, which was contingent upon the council’s decision to leave Glancy’s spot open until November.
The ballot will include the initiative adding term limits for City Council members, which would amend the Thousand Oaks Municipal Code to limit council members to serving no more than three consecutive four-year or partial terms of office.
Council members would need to wait four years from the end of their third term to serve on the council again.
The council approved a resolution that will allow rebuttals on the term-limit measure from the public. An argument supporting the measure and a rebuttal will appear on the sample ballot.
The council declined a resolution that would allow them to argue against the measure.
The council also approved $60,000 in November election costs to the city and $3,000 for a League of Women Voters’ request to use City Council chambers for a TOTV-televised City Council candidates forum at an undetermined time.
The nomination period for City Council candidates is July 16 through Aug. 10, according to a staff report.
If an incumbent does not run, the deadline is extended to Aug. 15 for nonincumbents.
In a Nutshell
The Thousand Oaks City Council decided Tuesday night to leave former Councilmember Tom Glancy’s seat vacant until November, when a special election will be held to coincide with the general municipal election, rather than appoint someone to serve in the interim. The nomination period of council candidates is July 16 through Aug. 10.