The Livingston City Council accepted the resignation of one of its members Tuesday and set into motion an effort to appoint his replacement before July.
Councilman David Mendoza officially submitted his resignation by email on April 30, interim City Manager Odi Ortiz said during the council meeting this week.
The council directed city staffers to advertise for a replacement during the next 30 days with the intention of doing interviews and picking a replacement by June 29. The replacement would serve out the rest of Mendoza’s term, which ends next year.
Mendoza did not attend the meeting. Reached by phone Wednesday, he declined to speak about his resignation other than to say he had moved to Merced. Members of the council are required to live within the Livingston boundaries.
The council has the option of conductinga special election to replace him, though no council member has expressed a desire to spend the money on one. A special election would cost the city an estimated $25,000 to $30,000, according to the council.
Ortiz said the council has 60 days from Mendoza’s resignation, or until June 29, to pick a replacement. Otherwise, a special election would become the only option.
Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza said agreeing on a replacement is in the city’s best interest. “I hope the council can decide before the 60 days so we don’t have to pay for the election,” he said during the meeting.
If the city were to hold a special election, it would be held Nov. 3.
Mayor Pro Tem Gurpal Samra said the council does not want to spend money for a special election, especially after the budget cuts the city has had to make in recent years.
He also spoke highly of Mendoza. “He worked hard for the people of Livingston, and I wish him the very best,” Samra said.
Mendoza was elected to the council in 2012, along with Councilmen Jim Soria and Arturo Sicairos.