Fremont election results likely to leave open City Council seat

As this Citywise story in Saturday’s Argus covered … If the election results hold and Bill Harrison is officially certified by the Registrar as Fremont’s mayor-elect, it cause a reshuffling of the makeup of the City Council for the third time in as many years.

Barring unexpected changes, Harrison would vacate his council seat when he is sworn in next month, City Clerk Nadine Nader said. The remaining four council members, including the new mayor, then will have 60 days to choose a replacement to serve the remaining two years on Harrison’s council term.

Their two options for that are holding a special election or appointing a new council member after interviewing applicants.

Most cities choose to make an appointment to avoid a costly special election but also to retain control over who they will be working with on the council.

Earlier this year, the Fremont council appointed Gus Morrison to serve as mayor on an interim basis after Mayor Bob Wasserman died.

Last year, the Newark City Council appointed then-Planning Commissioner Bob Marshall to fill the council seat vacated when Alan Nagy was elected mayor.

In 2010, Fremont council members appointed Dominic Dutra, who served on the council from 2002 to 2006, to replace Bob Wieckowski, who resigned after being elected to the state Assembly. Dutra was selected after three council members ranked him first, while Harrison ranked then-Human Relations Commissioner Raj Salwan first and Dutra second.

Who would be the front-runners for appointment this time?

Might it be another Dutra family member, John J. Dutra, who finished third in the council race won by Vinnie Bacon and incumbent Councilwoman Sue Chan? Or will it be Salwan, now a Fremont planning commissioner and still a Harrison ally?

Friday, Harrison said it was too premature to say. Stay tuned.




Chris DeBenedetti