By Christi Anne Corpus
Signal Staff Writer
Friday November 10, 2006
With City Councilman Cameron Smyth set to resign from the council after winning the state Assembly seat representing the 38th district on Tuesday, fellow council members must decide how to fill his seat.
From the time his official resignation becomes effective, the City Council will have 30 days to determine how to fill the vacancy, either by appointment or by calling a special election, according to the government code.
Councilman Frank Ferry brought up the issue during a transportation study session Tuesday and asked city staff to prepare an agenda report for the regular council meeting.
Smyth must resign from the council before his term in the California Legislature commences at noon Dec. 4.
The Nov. 28 council meeting will be Smyth’s last official meeting, city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said.
Though state law indicates the City Council seat may not be left open until the next regular municipal election in April 2008, it does not designate a specific process for filling a vacancy by appointment. As a result, council members may choose to appoint a new member through a to-be-determined process.
If council members decide to appoint someone to the council, the process for soliciting interested residents will likely be addressed during Tuesday’s meeting.
Should the council choose to conduct a special election to fill the vacancy, the election would take place June 5, 2007, and cost approximately $175,000.
Jan. 3, 2007, marks the last day the council may fill the vacancy, either by appointment or by calling a special election.
Smyth was the youngest person to join the City Council upon his election in 2000. He was re-elected for a second term in 2004 and has served as mayor twice while on the council.
As the assemblyman of the 38th district, Smyth will oversee approximately 500,000 Southern California residents in an area that encompasses the Santa Clarita Valley, northern San Fernando Valley – including Granada Hills, Porter Ranch, Chatsworth, Sunland and Tujunga – and parts of Simi Valley.
“The people of Santa Clarita have been my boss,” Smyth told The Signal before his election to the State Assembly. “Santa Clarita is my home and I’ve been honored to have the opportunity to represent this community in the City Council.”
The City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd.