The four seated members of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors will wait until June 22 to decide when to ask the governor to appoint a replacement for their colleague, Mark Medina, who resigned earlier this month.
The board briefly discussed the process to replace Medina at the June 8 meeting. State government code says when a vacancy occurs on a county board of supervisors, the governor will appoint a replacement to hold office until an election for the seat can take place.
That election must be on the next general election ballot, according to state law. Currently, the next general election is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022. However, because of the petition effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis may call a gubernatorial recall election for some time in October or November 2021.
Medina announced his resignation from the board on May 25, to be effective June 7. He had just been re-elected to the board in 2020.
Staff from the county clerk, auditor, recorder/registrar of voters office recommended that the board approve a resolution asking Newsom to appoint Medina’s replacement to hold office until the Nov. 8, 2022 general election, then place the seat on that ballot. The winner of that election would fill the remaining two years in the current term, with the next regular election for the seat scheduled for November 2024.
But supervisors on June 8 wanted to take advantage of the limited time they have to make a decision. If Kounalakis in the next couple weeks schedules a gubernatorial recall election for October or November, the local officials could potentially decide at the June 22 meeting to place Medina’s County District 1 seat on that ballot, according to supervisors and county staff.
The county’s time is limited because it has a deadline of July 9 to begin publishing a notice of election before a potential gubernatorial recall election, according to county staff.
Supervisor Bea Gonzales, who was nominated as the board’s new chair June 8, said the initial process to appoint a new supervisor would take about four to six months. Eligible residents in Supervisor District 1 would be invited to apply for the appointment.