A special election to replace outgoing Councilman Frank Quintero is set to take place on June 3 and be consolidated with a statewide primary election following a unanimous City Council vote this week.
On the ballot may also be a tax measure proposed by the city and a possible amendment to city rules regulating the replacement of an empty council position midterm.
Candidates for the single open council seat can pull papers to get on the ballot starting Feb. 10. They can begin fundraising right away, but must file a form with the secretary of state once they collect more than $1,000.
So far, at least three candidates — Chahe Keuroghelian, Vartan Gharpetian and Paula Devine — have publicly declared their intent to run.
Keuroghelian was the fourth-highest vote-getter in the April election, falling behind Councilman Zareh Sinanyan by about 300 votes. Gharpetian and Devine are on the Historic Preservation Commission and Commission on the Status of Women, respectively.
During the April election, former Councilman Rafi Manoukian won the city treasurer position, leaving his council seat empty. Rather than appointing the fourth-highest vote-getter, as a different set of council members had done previously, the council chose to appoint Quintero, who was leaving office in April after more than a decade on the dais.
According to city rules, Quintero can only serve as an appointee through June. Two Glendale residents had tried to oust Quintero from office by pointing to an ambiguous city rule, but their request was rejected by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge and the state attorney general.
The person who replaces Quintero in the June election can hold a council seat for only 10 months. If they want a full four-year term, the June winner will have to run again in the April 2015 municipal election.
In order to avoid a confusing game of musical chairs in the future, Councilman Zareh Sinanyan suggested the city change its rules regulating council appointments.
“I think it’s very messy,” Sinanyan said.
The change could also cut expenses as the special election is estimated to cost from $230,000 to $250,000.
City Atty. Mike Garcia concurred, noting that the city officials who drew up the appointment rules in the first place didn’t take into account the costs of running elections just 10 months apart.
The council must decide whether to place the rule cleanup and a proposed tax measure on the ballot by March 7. A city consultant is doing community outreach to determine which type of tax — such as special taxes for libraries or public safety or an increased hotel tax — would be most amenable to voters.
Those interested in running for City Council can call the City Clerk’s office at (818) 548-2090.