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If Honeycutt goes, what happens to his council seat?

Staff Writer

(Originally published April 19, 2005.)

Although Hesperia Mayor Pro Tem Tad Honeycutt has said he has no intention of stepping down from the city council, he would not be the first politician to step down in such circumstances, if he were to do so.

Both Honeycutt and Hesperia Unified School District governing board president Eric Swanson were named in the audit of the California Charter Academy released last Thursday.

Honeycutt leaving the Hesperia City Council would leave the five-person council with two pairs of opposing council members, and a potential deadlock on issues. The council often approves measures unanimously, but 3-2 decisions are not uncommon.

Two options exist should a council member step down in the middle of his term, according to Hesperia City Clerk Vicki Soderquist: a special election or an appointment.

Elections are expensive even during presidential elections, when the costs of setting up polling stations are spread between national and local government. A special election just to elect a new council member might be more expensive than residents and the remaining council members could stomach, Soderquist said.

The other alternative would be for the remaining four council members to appoint a replacement. The potential difficulty would be in finding a nominee whom at least three members of the council could agree upon.

As per Education Code 5090 through 5095, the process is very similar for a mid-term opening on the school board, should Swanson choose to resign at some point.

Swanson could not be reached for comment by press time.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at beau@hesperiastar.com or 956-7108.

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