Tomorrow night, the Anaheim City Council will decide the process to appointing someone to complete the term of District 2 Councilman Jordan Brandman, who resigned on August 5.
The city charter prescribes that council vacancies be filled by appointment within 60 days of the vacancy’s creation, but is silent on the details of the process.
The council could simply make a direct appointment, or open an application process and choose from among the applicants (with or without applicant interviews).
If the council chooses the latter, city staff recommends an application period running from August 25 to September 8, with the council voting on an appointment at its September 14 meeting. Staff also generated a draft application form. Of course, eligible District 2 residents are free to request appointment to the vacancy, regardless of whether o not a formal application process is established.
If the council cannot agree on a replacement by October 4, then the vacancy will be filled by a special election.
State law says such a special election would have to held on the “next regularly established election date” but “not less than 114 days from the call of the special election.” Those election dates are spelled out in Elections Code section 1000. Per the not-less-than-114-days rule, the earliest a special election to fill the vacancy could be held would be April 12, 2022.Per state law, the soonest such an election can be held is April 12, 2022.
The last time the Anaheim City Council dealt with a vacancy was in 1995, when then-Councilman Tom Daly’s seat became vacant upon his swearing in as the city’s directly-elected mayor. The council deadlocked until the appointment window had almost expired, before settling on a compromise applicant: Tom Tait, who was a planning commissioner at the time.
Huntington Beach and Orange have recently filled vacancies by appointment. Huntington Beach utilized a formal application process, while Orange filled the vacancy by a direct appointment.
Whomever is appointed to fill the District 2 vacancy would have the option of running for a full term in November 2022, and could use the ballot title of “Appointed Councilmember.”
An appointment process could also potentially provide a sneak preview of potential candidates for District 2 in next year’s council election.
OCWD Representation Also On Agenda
The council will also decide the matter of its representative on the 10-member Orange County Water District Board of Directors. While Brandman is no longer a member of the Anaheim City Council, he remains the council’s appointed representative on the OCWD Board.
Santa Ana, Fullerton and Anaheim each have a direct appointment to the OCWD Board, but their appointees need not be council members. For example, in 2007, the city council appointed former Councilman Irv Pickler as it’s representative on the OCWD Board. Pickler served in that spot for the next five years, even managing to hold on to his appointment in the face of a determined effort by a sitting councilmember to secure the appointment.
The expectation is Brandman will be replaced by one of the current councilmembers.