Mission expected to replace councilman next week

MISSION — Though the city council took no action regarding the pending resignation of Place 4 Councilman Gus Martinez during Monday’s city council meeting, a special meeting is expected to be set next Monday to possibly name his replacement.

The issue was listed as an item under the council’s executive session, which lasted approximately two hours Monday. However, the council took no action on the matter.

Mayor Armando O’Caña said after the meeting that the council needed to receive a letter of resignation before any action can be taken. Once that is received, O’Caña said a special meeting would be called, which he projected to be on May 20, to either accept or reject Martinez’s resignation.

Martinez was selected earlier this month to be the new Mission city attorney following the departure of previous city attorney Abiel Flores earlier this year.

“The odds are I think they’re going to accept it,” the mayor said of Martinez’s resignation. “And then we’ll make a replacement; we should have somebody by that time.”

The mayor said he asked each council member to provide one name as a possible replacement and expects they will be able to reach a consensus from that pool.

Whoever is chosen will be the third person to serve the 2016-2020 term of the Place 4 seat, which was initially occupied by now-Mayor O’Caña.

O’Caña, however, resigned from the position when he announced he would be running for mayor in 2018, however, he remained on the council until a special election could be held to find his replacement.

In May 2018, elections for mayor and the Place 4 seat were simultaneously held and both went into runoffs, which O’Caña and Martinez won, respectively.

The council agreed to hire Martinez last week, by a 3-1 vote, with O’Caña being the lone vote against it.

He later said that his opposition wasn’t personal but based off his belief that Martinez had made a commitment to the community to finish out the term.

Martinez, however, felt he would still be serving the community as the city attorney.

“He’s entitled to that opinion, but as for me, I don’t see it as me turning my back on the community,” Martinez said. “In fact, quite differently, I see it more like a way where I can possibly  even better serve the community as the city attorney.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Mission councilman hired as new city attorney