RIVERBANK -- The City Council on Monday will try for a third time to fill the vacancy created by Richard O'Brien's election as mayor.
The council split 2-2 at a pair of December meetings on how to appoint a new member to replace O'Brien, who had been a councilman.
O'Brien and Councilwoman Jeanine Tucker favored appointing Cal Campbell, who finished a strong third in the Nov. 6 council election. They also said they would consider opening the appointment process to all five of the losing candidates.
Councilwomen Dotty Nygard and Darlene
Barber-Martinez said the process should be open to all residents to better reflect Riverbank's large Latino community.
All four said they do not want a special election, but that would happen under state law if the council does not appoint someone by Feb. 8. The election could cost the cash-strapped city $38,000 to $57,000, City Clerk Annabelle Aguilar said last month.
The election would be held in June, meaning Riverbank could go several months without a fifth council member. That was essentially the case for much of last year, when then-member Jesse James White missed many meetings amid legal issues stemming from a traffic accident.
Riverbank went several months without a mayor in 2009, when the council deadlocked on appointing a successor to David I. White, who had resigned. Virginia Madueño won the office in a special election.
O'Brien won the latest mayoral election in a close contest with Madueño. His council term has two years left.
O'Brien said Wednesday that he would like to get the vacancy resolved at Monday's meeting. It will be one of the daytime meetings that the council holds once a quarter; most meetings are in the evening.
The council will meet at noon Monday at City Hall, 6707 Third St., Riverbank.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2385.