Glendale City Council members have decided to fill a vacant seat on the dais by appointing a member from the community and launched a call for statements of interest this week, the Glendale News-Press reports.
The council has been one member short since last Friday, when former Councilman Zareh Sinanyan resigned to work for the Armenian government.
The remaining four members opted not to call a special election in November — their only other option to fill the seat — citing city staff’s projected price tag of more than $1 million to put the issue before voters.
“There would be no expense if we appointed someone,” said Councilwoman Paula Devine during the most recent council meeting on Tuesday, adding that it could be done immediately.
“That’s really what we need, is someone sitting here to even out the vote,” Devine said, calling potential 2-2 splits “troublesome.”
Mayor Ara Najarian ultimately agreed, though he called it a “tough decision.”
“You want the public to have a say and decide who the next council member is,” Najarian said, but suggested the associated cost was prohibitive.
Any appointed individual would serve until the city holds its next regularly scheduled election in March of next year, or about 7 months, as outlined by the city’s charter.
Council members will discuss the applicants and likely make an appointment during a special meeting set for 10 a.m. on June 21.
That Friday marks Mayor Ara Najarian’s last business day before he leaves for a vacation, which will extend past July 7, the council’s deadline to make an appointment.
If council members do not make a decision by that date, they must immediately call for a special election, according to a city report.