Learning from Miss America About Who Takes Over if She Cannot Fulfill Her Duties

Since March, Calpeek has tried to keep everyone updated on the Los Angeles City District 10 saga.  Despite months of drama, politics, caretakers, lawsuits, interims, and more politics, the L.A. City Council has not made much progress in finding a temporary representative for the 240,000 people who reside in CD 10.  

Last Friday, former L.A. City Councilmember Herb Wessonresigned” from his temporary appointment to serve as the interim Councilmember.  An L.A. County Superior Court judge ruled that his appointment violated the term limits law.

The judge’s ruling was a result of a lawsuit filed by supporters of suspended-Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas.  This leaves “Caretaker” Heather Hutt in charge of the Council office.  Hutt was hired to be the chief of staff when Wesson took over and fired Ridley-Thomas’ chief of staff.  Some may remember Hutt ran for State Assembly District 54 in the 2021 special election losing to now-Assemblymember Isaac Bryan.

Council President Nury Martinez called for Hutt to become the interim Councilmember, but did not have support from the necessary 10 councilmembers to move the motion forward.  So, the matter moved to a committee for consideration.  Fortunately for Martinez, she scheduled the meeting that she chairs, and with no surprise, the committee recommended Hutt on Wednesday.  Now that the committee has approved the recommendation, only 8 Councilmembers need to support Hutt’s appointment; she had 9 members supporting her last Friday.  

In addition to the drama, we have an interesting discussion on how to fill a temporary vacancy.  Folks standing around the water cooler have suggested appointing the candidate who came in second to Ridley-Thomas in the last election: Grace Yoo.  Yoo received 36,485 votes in the 2020 run-off election.  Some cities in California appoint the runner up to fill vacancies.  And, as everyone knows, the runner up serves if Miss America is unable to fulfill her duties.  Shouldn’t that work for the City of Los Angeles?

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