H-SANTA MARIA

Dec 19, 2012 3:31 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Santa Maria City Council still without a fifth seat

The newly appointed Santa Maria city council was sworn in on Tuesday night, but they are without one seat. There are four members in place, and those four will need to decide how the fifth seat will be filled.

On Tuesday night, they could not come up with a unanimous decision. The council was stuck in a 2-2 vote. Newly elected Mayor Alice Patino, and re-elected councilmember Bob Orach, wanted the available seat to go to Etta Waterfield. Waterfield is the contender who lost to Orach in November by just two votes. But, councilmember Jack Boysen and newly elected councilmember Terri Zuniga had a no vote, wanting to open it up to an application and appointment process instead.

The council will vote again and try to come up with a resolution on January 15.

"The situation is we need to get to a place where we have five council members so we can move on with the city business, that's what the voters deserve, that's what they expect to have," said Mark Van de Kamp, the Management Analyst for the City of Santa Maria.

City Manager Rick Haydon told KSBY News that the other items on Tuesday night's agenda were also stuck in a 2-2 vote, which clearly shows the urgency for a 5th council member.

Van de Kamp said if the council does not come up with a decision by February 16th, the City will have no choice but to go into a special election which will cost tax payers nearly $200,000.

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