At the final meeting of 2020 Patterson’s City Council agreed to appoint a new council member in District B to replace Dennis McCord whose seat was vacated after the Mayoral election.
There were public comments requesting the council hold a special election to afford residents the opportunity to exercise their right to vote for a person of their choosing however, the council chose the appointment process, citing the expense of a special election that the City would have to fund. The true cost of holding a special election is unknown. There was no cost analysis provided, but a ballpark figure of $30,000-$40,000 was given based on knowledge of past special elections.
Another deciding factor in the decision to appoint a new councilmember rather than hold a special election was time. Although the vacancy needs to be filled by Jan. 31 due to the 60 day limit, Patterson would not be able to hold an election until Nov. 2021 per section 1000 of the Elections Code. Leaving the seat vacant for such a length of time could potentially create deadlocks during council voting procedures which would hamper the City’s performance.
Speaking publicly, Mark Miles, who campaigned against McCord for the Mayoral seat, suggested a compromise of sorts when he requested an independent person be selected to serve on the appointment committee. City Manager Ken Irwin recommended Mayor McCord and suggested another councilmember would be suited for reviewing the applications. McCord and Cynthia Homen will review applications and bring their recommendation to the Council at a special meeting scheduled on Jan. 26.
Applications are due no later than 5 p.m., Jan. 14. As of Jan. 5 the City had not received any applications.
Also due on Jan. 14 are applications for the Public Safety and Downtown Revitalization Committees. Community members who are interested in serving on the City Council or a committee can find applications on the City’s website at: https://www.ci.patterson.ca.us.
Ken Irwin confirmed that the City received a response from FEMA in regard to the grant application that was submitted on behalf of Patterson Fire Department. Unfortunately, Patterson will not be the recipient of coveted grant funding that would have supplemented the purchase of new fire apparatus. While there are no immediate plans to purchase new apparatus, replacing the aged equipment may become necessary in the future as Patterson continues to experience robust growth.
As a follow up to previous concerns brought by Patterson residents during council meetings and in letters to the editor, The Irrigator spoke to Irwin about Councilwoman Shivaugn Alves evidence of residency. Irwin stated, “It was determined that an investigation [of Alves’ residency] was not warranted. Councilmember Alves provided more [than] adequate proof of residency requested by staff. We received six signed affidavits stating Ms. Alves lived at the location at the time of pulling nomination papers. Councilmember Alves also provided a signed affidavit confirming her residency. We received 11 signed letters stating her residence as well. She provided multiple utility bills such as AT&T, TID, and her City utility bill. Other information provided included employment payroll, DMV registration, and property tax bill. These all had the same billing address as stated on her nomination paperwork.” The proof provided by Alves puts to rest the unfounded suspicions brought by residents and confirms that her status as a councilmember is legitimate.
The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.