Sunnyvale City Council decided to make an appointment to fill the space left by former councilor Mason Fong – a move that will save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On Monday night, the council voted unanimously to use the February appointment process instead of holding snap elections, which city officials estimate could cost anywhere from about $ 227,000 to over $ 3 million, depending on when elections are held.
Fong, who was elected to the council in 2018, stepped down earlier this month after Governor Gavin Newsom appointed him deputy director of external affairs for Northern California.
The timing of his resignation played a role in the council’s decision on Monday – especially as the city moved the three remaining free places to boroughs. The nominee to replace Phong will remain in office until the end of next year.
“I think it is imperative for the community to focus on district elections in 2022,” Mayor Larry Klein said. “We are finally moving the rest of the seats to councils in district elections, so to have general elections in the middle of the year or at some time of the year, it will cause even more confusion at the end of the day for me. “
In addition to moving to district elections, councilor Gustav Larsson said the council expects decisions to be made on a number of key issues early next year, including finalizing the maps for the redistribution of districts.
“All of these decisions will be made before we can hold a snap election and seat this councilor,” he said. “So the only way to have a seventh board member to make these important decisions is to make an appointment. If we had a vote in the elections around June, I think it would have caused a big churn, with a councilor appointed for a few months and then an elected councilor for a few months. ”
The council is to formally declare Phong’s seat vacant at a meeting on December 14 and schedule a meeting sometime between February 3 and 12.