Mike Posey is new H.B. mayor; Erik Peterson is appointed mayor pro tem in split decision

Mike Posey, who had been mayor pro tem, is sworn in as Huntington Beach mayor on Monday night as outgoing mayor Barbara Delgleize looks on.
Mike Posey, who had been mayor pro tem, is sworn in as Huntington Beach mayor on Monday night as outgoing mayor Barbara Delgleize looks on.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Huntington Beach City Council’s choice for a new mayor was swift: Mike Posey.

Posey, who was elected to the council in 2014 and had been serving the past year as mayor pro tem, was selected as mayor Monday night on a unanimous vote. He replaces Barbara Delgleize in the one-year post.

Former mayor Jim Silva swore in Posey, commenting that the position would change Posey’s life forever.

Posey said the theme of his term will be regaining and retaining local control against outside influences, such as the state Legislature.

He vowed to improve transparency, communication and economic development and address public safety, notably the escalating cost of employee pensions. He said he also wants to expand the U.S. Open of Surfing and ensure a future for the Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow.

Posey said he will institute monthly “meet the mayor” meetings and quarterly town hall gatherings.

In choosing a new mayor pro tem, the council split in appointing member Erik Peterson, temporarily setting aside existing city law to assign him to the one-year post.

Huntington Beach council member Erik Peterson was appointed mayor pro tem Monday night.
(File Photo )

Peterson, a former city planning commissioner, was picked on a 4-3 vote, with council members Billy O’Connell, Jill Hardy and Patrick Brenden dissenting.

Hardy expressed concern about not following the mayor pro tem selection procedure established in 1991. That resolution says that if two eligible candidates have served the same length of time on the council, the one who received more votes in the last election should get the position.

Hardy said Councilman Billy O’Connell should become mayor pro tem because he received more votes than Peterson in 2014, when both were elected. O’Connell received 19,026 votes to Peterson’s 18,688, according to county registrar of voters data.

Hardy’s recommendation was denied by Delgleize, Posey, Peterson and Councilwoman Lyn Semeta, who ultimately chose Peterson instead.

Beach Boulevard of Cars district dissolved

In other action Monday, the council voted to dissolve a special district for Beach Boulevard of Cars.

The Huntington Beach Auto Dealers Business Improvement District was established in 1992. It levied a special assessment to its 10 members.

In October, the members voted to dissolve it, feeling the district is no longer needed to sustain everyone’s business and marketing goals.

The council finalized the dissolution on a 5-0 vote, with Hardy absent and O’Connell recusing himself because of a business interest nearby.

Twitter: @BradleyZint