Council member Marty Richman for District 4 this week was selected to be Hollister mayor pro tempore for 2019.
The decision was made by the newly sworn-in council in its first meeting of the new year, and upended the traditional selection process for the position– a move that caught Mayor Ignacio Velazquez by surprise.
Past mayor pro tempore in Hollister have been selected yearly on a rotational basis. The 2018 mayor pro tempore was former District 2 councilmember Mickie Solorio Luna. If the council had stuck to the typical council norms the next mayor pro tem should have been newly elected Councilmember Honor Spencer from District 3.
Mayor Ignacio Velazquez moved to nominate Spencer, based on the past routine. But in a vote that seemed to catch Velazquez off guard, Councilmember Carol Lenoir, Richman and Spencer voted against the motion.
Rolan Resendiz, council member for District 2, voted with Velazquez to appoint Spencer.
“No?” Velazquez questioned as the motion was struck down. “You guys want to break up the rotation? OK.”
Lenoir then moved to appoint Richman to the role. The motion carried 4-1, with Resendiz casting a dissenting vote.
Resendiz said his no vote was an effort to adhere to council precedent. “I just thought we should honor and and respect the traditions set before us and I just found it to be a little bit of a political move.”
The mayor pro tempore absorbs the mayoral duties if the elected mayor is not able to do so, either absent from a council meeting or if the mayor’s seat is vacated. Hollister city ordinance requires, “At the first regular council meeting in January of each year the city council shall select one of its members to serve as mayor pro tempore for a term of one year.”
Richman was sworn into the position by City Clerk, Christine Black.