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San Fernando Mayor Resigns Post

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Raul Godinez II formally resigned as mayor of San Fernando on Monday night, setting the stage for what political sources suspect is his next endeavor: a run for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

Godinez, 36, has been eyeing the 7th Council District seat recently vacated by Richard Alarcon, who was elected in November to represent the east San Fernando Valley in the 20th state Senate district.

But the departing mayor refused to reveal if he was prepared to mount a campaign for the council district post representing the northeast Valley.

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“We are very close to making a decision [on the run for Los Angeles City Council], but we still have to do some homework,” said Godinez in an interview Monday. “Frankly, my duties as mayor have prevented me from taking a look at this.”

To be eligible for the L.A. council seat, Godinez must move out of the city of San Fernando and establish residency in Los Angeles during the filing period, which begins in mid-January. The special election to fill Alarcon’s seat is set for April.

His resignation from the largely ceremonial mayor’s job left him a member of the San Fernando City Council, but he said he would resign by the end of the week.

Godinez’s departure leaves at least two seats up for grabs in the San Fernando council elections next year. A third seat will be contested by an incumbent.

In San Fernando, the five-person council is currently dominated by a three-member majority consisting of Godinez, former Mayor Jose Hernandez and newcomer Silverio Robledo. The minority consists of former Mayor Joanne Baltierrez and veteran Doude Wysbeek.

Baltierrez, 40, opted not to seek a second term on the council after accepting a job as executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Hernandez, a professor at Cal State Northridge, is expected to take over as interim mayor until the March elections.

During his term, Godinez and the council worked to win grants for homes and businesses damaged by the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

“I worked with him since he got elected in 1994,” said his sometimes rival Wysbeek. “We have not agreed on everything, but on the bread-and-butter issues, we see eye to eye.”


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