H-SANTA MARIA

Jan 16, 2013 1:32 AM by Jeanette Trompeter

Deadlock leads to lack of decision again for Santa Maria City Council

It was a packed house at Tuesday's Santa Maria City Council meeting.

The council once again couldn't come to an agreement on how to fill it's vacant fifth seat. The vacancy was created when Alice Patino won the mayoral election in November. Etta Waterfield only lost her bid for an open seat to Bob Orach by two votes, but former council member Mike Cordero wants the seat too.

Patino and Orach are in favor of appointing Waterfield to Patino's old seat, but Terri Zuniga and Jack Boysen want to open it up to an application process.

Of course, without that fifth seat to be a tie-breaker, they're kind of in a deadlock and it continued Tuesday night after a second attempt to make a decision. They'll tackle the issue for the third time February 5th.

They can once again appoint someone, take applications, or serve as four-person council until June when the city would need to hold a special election for the seat. The special election would cost the city an estimated $200,000.

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