After hearing from candidates and input from the general public, the City Council voted at the February 27th council meeting to call for a special election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Mayor Pettis. The special election will be a mail ballot only election in order to fill the seat at its earliest opportunity under the state election codes. It will also be limited to only voters living in District 1. The council determined to limit it to District 1 for several reasons. First, when the city decided to go from at-large seats to district representation in 2017, it made sure that the two at-large seats remaining after the November 2018 election each had a council member residing in them. District 1 had Mayor Pettis and District 2 had Councilmember Aguilar. When Mayor Pettis died in January 2019, this left District 1 without a sitting councilmember. Second, the council determined that rather than waiting until 2020 to hold a District 1 election, it would expedite the representative election due to the unforeseen circumstances.
The earliest opportunity to hold a special mail ballot election is the last Tuesday in August, which would be August 27, 2019. The nomination period for candidates will open on Monday, May 6, 2019 and close on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 6 pm. Nomination papers will be available through the City Clerk’s office only during the nomination period. All specific information related to the special district 1 election will be presented in a resolution at the March 13, 2019 council meeting.