During the April 12 Compton City Council meeting, City Attorney Eric Perrodin announced that the majority 2-1 vote to appoint Deidre Duhart as District 1 Councilmember during the April 5 city council meeting should have been upheld, officially making the appointment to fill the vacant council seat.
“I would like to welcome Mrs. Duhart to the Compton City Council. I look forward to working with her and am confident that she will provide a strong voice to represent the residents of District 1,” said Mayor Emma Sharif.
The City Attorney stated that after further review of the City Charter, a majority vote is what is required to appoint a resident to fill a vacant council seat. The City of Compton’s Charter Section 505 is silent on the number of votes needed to fill a vacancy to the Council. In addition, the California Government Code Section 36512(a) is also silent on how many votes are necessary to fill a vacancy in a general law city.
The Compton Charter Section 606 states that three councilmembers must be present in order to conduct City business. At the Council meeting on April 5, there were four Council members present (Councilpersons Galvan, Bowers, Darden, and Mayor Sharif), establishing a quorum for the purpose of conducting City business.
Compton City Attorney Eric Perrodin stated: “The Framers of our City Charter were silent on the number of affirmative votes necessary to fill a vacant seat but they were very clear that in order to have a legal council meeting to conduct the business of the City at least three council members must be present.
“The vote to appoint Deidre Duhart to the vacant District 1 council seat is exactly a scenario the Framers of our Charter envisioned where a mere majority of the Council members voting would prevail. This analysis draws from standardized and routinely applied rules for interpreting statutory construction and legislative intent.”
The City Attorney’s decision was to uphold the April 5 2-1 vote to appoint Mrs. Duhart to fill the vacant Council seat for District 1. Councilmember Darden made the motion to appoint Mrs. Duhart, seconded by Councilmember Galvan. The City Clerk conducted the roll call for the vote. Sharif and Darden voted yes in support of the appointment, Galvan abstained, and Bowers voted no.