Santa Maria Sun / Breaking News
City of Santa Maria is now accepting applications for vacant council seat
Still split on whether to appoint Etta Waterfield to its fifth vacant seat, the Santa Maria City Council voted 3-1 on Feb. 5 to start accepting applications from city residents to fill the position. Alice Patino, who relinquished her council seat in January to become Santa Maria's first female mayor, cast the sole dissenting vote.
On Feb. 6, the city manager's office released instructions on how to apply for the vacant council seat. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a resident of Santa Maria, and a registered voter at the time they submit their applications for the appointment.
Applications are available at the City Clerk's Office, located at 110 E. Cook St., Room 3. People interested in the position must also submit a written statement of no more than 400 words listing their qualifications for serving on the council. The written statement should also include the potential council member's reasons for wanting to be appointed, as well as his or her community involvement, and any prior experience in government.
Applicants must also list any conflicts of interest they might have on matters being brought before the council. Both documents must be delivered to the chief deputy city clerk by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The council will review the applications at its regular meeting on Feb. 19.
According to city officials, "In the spirit of full transparency and fairness, potential applicants are being requested not to contact current council members regarding the application process."
Questions can be directed to Chief Deputy City Clerk Rhonda Garietz at 925-0951, Ext. 307.
Applicants should plan to be at the Feb. 19 City Council meeting, and should be prepared to make a five-minute presentation. The council can make an appointment at that time or continue the item to a future meeting. If the council decides to make an appointment at the Feb. 19 meeting, the successful applicant will immediately take his or her oath of office.
Council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The salary for the position is $1,050 per month.