In 2006, Michael Maciel and I were discussing the appointment of Steve Abercrombie to the City Council. Maciel was miffed. Since he was the next-highest vote-getter in the race for two open seats that year, he said that the council seat should go to him.
Now it is 2012, and in his recent letter to the editor (“Unique perspective on open council seat,” Nov. 30 Tracy Press), his opinion on this point has changed. Why? Has he all of a sudden had an epiphany of intellectual discernment, or is there another reason, such as self-interest?
Maciel and Mayor Brent Ives vote the same way on many important issues facing the city. It is in their self-interest to get a third vote they can count on. They should have supported a third candidate during the recent campaigns, but they didn’t, and it is not right to circumvent the results of the election.
Ray Morelos had the third-highest vote total and has excellent qualifications. That should be the end of the story. But my guess is it won’t be.
Maciel and the mayor have more aces up their sleeves. They are going to try to get through the council a citywide nominating process of some sort and a questionnaire for the nominees to fill out with a point-scoring system.
What happens next hasn’t been determined. Should there be a subcommittee to interview the applicants? Or should the whole City Council do it, and the applicant with the highest points be given the seat?
Councilman Robert Rickman and Councilwoman Nancy Young would want to interview the three candidates who didn’t win a seat in the election, Morelos, Charles Manne and Roger Birdsall, right now, in public, without a superfluous questionnaire, and make a decision.
At this point, the council is deadlocked 2-2. If this can’t be solved, Maciel and the mayor can just hold out for an election in June, or later. It won’t be their fault if the city has to spend $250,000 for the election. I think they would rather spend the money and let the City Council’s work limp along for six months than get someone on the council they don’t want.
The people have spoken. Ray Morelos earned the third-highest vote total, and should get the third City Council seat. End of story.