Huntington Beach

New mayor, pro tem to be elected

LYN SEMETA being sworn in as mayor of Huntington Beach in November 2019 (OC Tribune photo).

The changing of the guard will be the main order of business when the Huntington Beach City Council meets on Monday night.

A new mayor and mayor pro tem will be selected. Three new councilmembers will be sworn in and seated; three outgoing members will say their goodbyes.

The position of mayor is not filled by a direct vote of the public, but instead from among the council members and under a 1991 policy, the new top elected official is almost certainly going to be Kim Carr.


Since she is mayor pro tem – a sort of vice mayor – she is next in line to serve as mayor, under the resolution adopted in September 1991.

The councilmember with the longest consecutive council service is next in line to become mayor pro tem. However, three councilmembers – Barbara Delgleize, Erik Peterson and Mike Posey – were all elected in 2014. The policy says that in that event, the member who received the greatest number of votes in the last election in which he or she was elected would get the nod.

That would be Posey, who polled 13.1 percent of the votes in 2018, followed by Delgleize (11 percent), Carr (10.8 percent) and Peterson (10.1 percent).

There have been some exceptions, as in 2017 when the council majority bypassed then-Councilmember William “Billy O’Connell” in favor of Councilmember Erik Peterson. O’Connell had become controversial over some critical comments he had made about the offices of city attorney, city manager and chief of police.

Also, any councilmember who has served as mayor during the previous four years is not eligible for election as mayor pro tem, according to the policy. Peterson served as mayor in 2018, Posey in 2017 and Delgleize in 2016.

The three new councilmembers to step into their new roles are Tito Ortiz, Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser.

Those whose terms are expiring are Mayor Lyn Semeta, Mayor Pro Tem Jill Hardy and Councilmember Patrick Brenden.

Also to be sworn in are Robin Estanislau for another term as city clerk, and Alisa Backstrom as city treasurer.

The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. The public is not allowed to attend because of COVID-19 restrictions, but can comment electronically via Zoom.

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