Huntington Beach

Bolton picked for council slot

HUNTINGTON BEACH CIVIC CENTER (Orange County Tribune photo).

The deadlock over who would be appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Huntington Beach City Council was finally broken Monday night when local attorney Rhonda Bolton was chosen.

At that adjourned meeting – a continuation of a special meeting a week ago – Bolton was the choice of a council majority of Mayor Kim Carr and Councilmembers Dan Kalmick, Natalie Moser and Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Delgleize. It fact, it was Delgleize who broke the logjam that emerged on July 9 by coming out for Bolton. Opposed were Councilmembers Mike Posey and Erik Peterson.


The council had to either appoint someone to fill the vacancy created in June by the unexpected resignation by then-Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz, or call for a special election, the cost of which was estimated at $1 million.

“Things always have a way of working out in Huntington Beach,” said Delgeize as a preface to making the motion to select Bolton. The appointment was approved after a substitute motion by Posey to instead hold a special election was voted down 4-2, with Peterson in support.

Bolton’s selection was not popular with many in the gallery, who were on hand to support – sometimes loudly – the cause of Gracey Van Der Mark. She had finished fourth in the 2020 council election (the top three are elected) and her backers called on the council to “respect the vote.”

But Van Der Mark was a controversial figure for her previous remarks about race.

A recess followed Bolton’s selection to “allow things to settle down.” That done, she was sworn in and seated. She made no remarks and the meeting was adjourned.


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  1. Just curious? Tito Ortiz was overwhelming voted as a Conservative Republican by the people of HB. He stepped down because of being targeted by the left. Why would the City council appoint a Democrat to that seat? And not have a special election?

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