Chino Hills Vacant Seat Open

Photo courtesy: Google Images
Chino Hills Councilman Ed Graham’s abrupt resignation leaves an open seat on the City Council.

By Michael Armijo

Chino Hills – After the abrupt resignation of councilman Ed Graham, the Chino Hills City Council voted to appoint his successor instead of electing one, a move that will save the city around $100,000 for a special election. The term ends a year from November in 2018 and Residents must apply by July 31.

Why Graham abruptly resigned seems to still be a mystery, although many community members are thinking he has his priorities in order.

“I hear he’s been traveling with his family a lot, and family is first in my book,” said 20 year resident of Chino Hills Ben Cortes. “He placed his priorities in order and I respect that. I wish him well.”

Graham resigned abruptly on July 7, 2017 in a one line hand written resignation letter: “Effective by the end of the business day today, I resign my position on the city council.” He then signed and dated it.

Graham was reportedly the last original councilman, being voted on the city council in 1991 and served as mayor six times.

According to the California Government Code, the council has 60 days from the beginning of the vacancy to either call for a special election or fill the vacancy by appointment. The council voted 4-0, with Mr. Graham’s seat vacant, to appoint a successor by Sept. 5 2017.

The council had previously voted 5-0 last November to change the current system of electing officials “at large” but instead to vote per district. This means each area of the city will promote their candidate based on geology opposed to the age old popularity contest. They were reportedly threatened by an advocacy group or face a lawsuit, local reports said.

Since Graham was elected under the old rule, that you can live anywhere within city limits, the appointee will not be required to abide by the new law, which goes into effect next year in November. He or she will just have to live within the city limits of Chino Hills.

Once suggestion from a community member was to appoint a candidate from the previous election. Those three are Jim Gallagher, Rosanna Mitchell-Arietta, and Paul Molinaro. Mr. Gallagher and Ms. Mitchell-Arrieta said they would apply for the seat, although Mr. Molinaro reportedly said he requested an application but is undecided if he will apply.

The applications must be returned via hand delivery or mail by 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 31 to the city clerk’s office at Chino Hills City Hall, 14000 City Center Drive.

Applications may be obtained from the city clerk’s office or by visiting www.chinohills.org and clicking “city council vacancy” under the heading “In the Spotlight” on the left side of the home page.

The application includes a questionnaire consisting of 14 questions, such as: have you reviewed the city budget, have you reviewed the city’s general plan, and have you attended or participated in civic meetings. The selected resident will serve on the city council until November 2018.