City Votes to Amend Charter Concerning Council Vacancies

Amendment Must be Approved by Santa Barbara Voters

Paul Wellman

Backers of district elections got another win last week at City Hall. With Cathy Murillo and Gregg Hart’s seats becoming empty in quick succession, councilmembers approved a charter amendment that vacancies be filled by election. Retired Judge Frank Ochoa outlined the proponents’ desires, and the council chose to appoint an interim councilmember until the election can be held, ban the use of “incumbent” to describe an appointee, and hold elections with county elections to save money. The amendment will have to be approved by voters in November.

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