Posted: Feb 20, 2013 4:16 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News
Updated: Feb 21, 2013 7:34 AM
"It was really suggested to me, why don't you run, we need somebody with your experience," said Willie Green, "And I said it hmm, that would be fun."
It took two months, but Santa Maria has finally filled its vacant city council seat.
But you may have never heard of the person who landed that seat.
The seat was opened up when Alice Patino won the mayoral election back in November.
Over the last two months, the four person council has not been able to come to a decision on who to appoint to that seat.
However, last night, the saga came to an end with a unanimous vote to seat applicant Willie Green.
It was a late night and even busier morning, filled with emails and phone calls for the newly minted city councilmember.
The father of five and military veteran wasn't the councils first choice but he was their final one.
"I kind of thought in the archives of my mind, that maybe they wanted to see someone new," said Green with a chuckle.
That's exactly what they're getting, and with his background in corporate mediation, he hopes to be the perfect person to bring cooperation and compromise to a divisive council.
"I think if we would go that route more often than not, we get a lot more done," said Green.
And there's a lot to do.
And he'll admit a lot to learn.
After spending twenty years in the U.S. Air Force, Green decided to become an attorney.
He then spent 19 years as a staff negotiator in labor law for Safeway, followed by 9 years as a neutral mediator for Costco.
"In negotiations and labor relations, and arbitrations, that's all you do is mine conflicts," said Green.
He says his past profession should bring some leadership to the council.
"The best way we can handle this is we have to figure out a way to come together," said Green, "and everybody walk away with something, not necessarily all you want, or really wanted, a compromise."
Green will serve the remainder of mayor Patino's council term which ends in December 2014.
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