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El Monte City Council weighs $300,000 special election vs. appointing a community member

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona

Following the 2020 election, El Monte Council Member Jessica Ancona was elected to the Mayorship, leaving an open seat on the Council.

At its last meeting of the year on December 21st, the Council deliberated on possibilities for filling the seat. A traditional special election with in-person voting would cost $338,000 and the earliest date for such an election would be November 2nd, 2021. The earliest an all-mail ballot special election could be held is May 4th, 2021, with a cost of $292,000.

As an alternative to a special election, the City Council could appoint a community member, with the requirement that such an appointment must be done during a public meeting, with opportunity for the public to ask questions of any nominee. The City Council may also schedule public interviews with applicants for the position.

Irma Zamorano, a former Member of the Mountain View High School District and long-time community advocate, appears to be the leading candidate vying for appointment to the seat. Whittier Daily News reports that her supporters are holding a rally in her favor on January 3rd.

Mrs. Zamorano provided us an additional comment “I believe that in this new year, with all of the challenges we face in the middle of the pandemic, our City Council should use our community’s money to meet our City’s most pressing needs, such as more support for low-income families and small businesses.”

Mountain View School Board Member Irma Zamorano

Another former Mountain View School Board Member, Ana Gonzalez, has also provided a statement in support of the appointment of Zamorano: “It’s time for a change in the City of El Monte. It’s time for the residents to come before politics. If you vote for Mrs. Zamorano you are voting for change. You are voting for dedication. You are voting for integrity,” she said to the City Council at the December 21st meeting.

The Council is set to consider the options of appointment or special election at the January 5th meeting. Public comment can be sent before 4pm to

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