Prang’s city council spot will be filled by special election
What has been brewing for weeks was confirmed on Monday by the West Hollywood City Council.
The governing body voted unanimously for the city to conduct a special election to replace former City Councilman Jeffrey Prang, who had served on the council since 1997. Now, Prang is the Los Angeles County assessor after winning the election this fall.
“I trust the council to make the best decision in the best interests of the community,” Prang said in regards to finding a replacement
Although a special election is estimated to cost the city between $100,000 and $150,000, many council members were publically in favor an election, weeks before the meeting.
“I think when we made an appointment last time, we went through a fairly rigorous process and ended up appointing Lindsey Horvath,” Councilwoman Abbe Land said. “Although she did a great job as a council member, I think it worked against her when she ran for reelection, as there was a perception that she wasn’t due the seat. And I think anyone we would appoint would face that same issue if they chose to run again and wanted to run to continue their work.”
Horvath was appointed in 2009, but did not win reelection during the 2011 election.
Leading up to Monday’s meeting, council members had been fairly vocal, including Mayor John D’Amico, that letting the people decide who will fill Prang’s seat was important.
“This person might be in office for a decade, so I see that as a good use of public funds,” he said shortly after Prang resigned.
The general election is on March 3, which will determine three future city council members — positions currently held by Land, D’Amico and Mayor Pro Tempore John Heilman.
The special election will take place on June 2.
“It’s a completely different election,” assistant city clerk Melissa Crowder said.
The end of the nominating period for the special election is March 6, just three days after the general election date.
“There’s a very short period of time — three days — in which you would have to concede that you did not win to make you eligible to take nominating papers, circulate and file again for a second bite of the apple on June 2,” Councilman John Duran said.
It is unclear if candidates vying for the three offices on March 3 could concurrently undertake the petitioning process for June 2, or if they would have to wait until after Election Day. The West Hollywood City Attorney’s Office is in the process of determining those rules.
The nominating period for the June 2 special election will be Feb. 9 through March 6.
“I hear my colleagues and agree with them,” Heilman said. “What’s clear is our city clerk’s office is going to be pulling double duty.”
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