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A new Huntington Beach mayor pro tem is named to replace Tito Ortiz

People wheel a cart with cardboard boxes on it
Tito Ortiz, second from right, resigned from the Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday. Councilwoman Barbara Delgleize was unanimously approved to fill his position as mayor pro tem.
(Raul Roa / Times Community News)

The Huntington Beach City Council has chosen Councilwoman Barbara Delgleize as its new mayor pro tem, replacing Tito Ortiz after he resigned Tuesday night, citing a barrage of personal attacks.

Delgleize was nominated by Councilman Erik Peterson, and her appointment was approved unanimously by the City Council in a special meeting Wednesday night, Catherine Jun, assistant to the city manager, said in a statement.

At a council meeting Tuesday night, Ortiz said he had been the “sole focus of character assassination each and every week with multiple news stories” that sought to defame him. The attacks, he said, had grown to involve his family, causing him to fear for their safety.

“To put it simply, this job isn’t working for me,” he said.

Ortiz, who was sworn in as a councilman in December, was elected with more than 42,000 votes — the most in a council race in the city’s history. His campaign slogan in last year’s race was “Make Huntington Beach Safe Again,” a nod to former President Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”

But on the City Council, he accused his fellow members of singling him out because of his conservative views.

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Ortiz was nearly stripped of his title as mayor pro tem during a City Council meeting in February after he was criticized for refusing to wear a mask.

He received heavy public backlash after he recorded a video outside a Huntington Beach burger shack in January criticizing the venue for not letting him order without a mask on. Community members accused Ortiz of potentially sending customers away when small businesses were struggling to survive amid coronavirus restrictions.

A special meeting was held Feb. 1 on whether to strip Ortiz of his title after he was denied entry to a strategic planning meeting at the city’s Central Library because he showed up without a mask. The council tabled the item.

In his resignation announcement Tuesday, Ortiz said he was “met with hostility and judgment” from the day he was sworn in.

Delgleize will remain in the position until December. Over the next several weeks, the City Council will discuss appointing a new council member to fill Ortiz’s empty seat.

Delgleize was elected to the City Council in 2014 and has served as mayor. She previously was chair of the Huntington Beach Planning Commission.

Her biography on the city’s website says Delgleize is a residential real estate broker who has lived in Huntington Beach since 1974.


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