Council Taking Applications for Open Seat

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

August 27, 2021

The Morro Bay City Council is accepting applications to fill its vacant council seat, and the deadline to apply is fast approaching.

For the first time in the town’s history, the city council is seeking to fill a vacancy after the death of one of its members, Councilman Robert “Red” Davis, who died July 24.

Several other council people over the town’s more than 50-year history have left office by resignation and recall but Davis was the first to die in office, presenting the Council with the rare responsibility of appointing someone to fill the seat.

It’s also the first time Municipal Code Section 2.06.030, Paragraph B, passed by voters, will be applied to a Council vacancy.

That means whomever is appointed will have to face voters in a special election that is tentatively set for next April 2022 (or no less than 114 days from the appointment). The winner at that election will serve out the remaining over 2 years of Davis’ term, which is up in 2024.

Applicants must be at least 18, reside within the Morro Bay City Limits and be registered to vote in Morro Bay at the time of the application. Party affiliation should be irrelevant, as the Mayor and City Council positions are officially non-partisan.

Applications are available online on the City’s website (see: http://morrobayca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15820/Application-for-Appointment-to-City-Council), or by contacting the City Clerk’s Office at (805) 772-6205 or via email at: cityclerk@morrobayca.gov. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3.
Interviews with council members are tentatively slated for Tuesday, Sept. 14. Once the selection has been made and accepted by the applicant, the lucky person will start immediately with that night’s regular meeting.

A lot is on the line with regards to pending and proposed issues, which include the world’s largest Battery Energy Storage System or BESS proposed by Vistra Energy, owners of the Morro Bay Power Plant; the potential of offshore wind farms bringing their energy ashore in Morro Bay; the future of bayside RV camping; an affordable workforce housing proposal at Morro Elementary, as hinted at by the local school district; development of a former Navy Fuel Depot up on Panorama Drive with over 40 home sites possible; budget issues and more.

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