Political appointments are as political as they come. The decision to appoint someone the councilmembers can live with is frequently complicated by political calculations and past history.
In recent times, the appointments started with the appointment of Anu Natarajan to the Fremont city council in 2004. A relative newcomer, Natarajan was appointed to the Fremont City Council after a lot of maneuvering and pressure by political groups. Some groups were arguing to get the third top vote getter (Dirk Lorenz) to be appointed, but the city council members rebuffed this argument saying that the voters had made their decision.
In 2010, a vacancy was created after Bob Wieckowski was elected to the assembly. The candidates were numerous and the selection was difficult. The frontrunner going into the appointment was Dirk Lorenz, but he pulled out at the last moment. Lorenz made the statement that he was going to focus on his business, and he was looking to run a vigorous campaign in 2012. At the eleventh hour, Dominic Dutra, put his name into the hat. The same argument was used that the third top vote getter at the time (Vinnie Bacon) deserved to get the appointment, but the city councilmembers again rebuffed this argument saying that the voters had voted against the candidate. Other top contenders were David Bonaccorssi and Raj Salwan. Ultimately, Dutra secured three top votes, while Salwan received one top vote.
In 2011, Gus Morrison was appointed interim Mayor to fill in for deceased Mayor Bob Wasserman. Other top contenders were Dirk Lorenz and David Bonaccorssi. The former mayor’s experience and temporary position made the difference.
Bill Harrison’s recent election to Mayor has resulted in another vacancy. There are a large pool of candidates who will be applying for this position, some who just ran, some planning commisioners, and some active citizens. Let’s see what the appointments will bring this time…
The application deadline is December 21, 2012 and the applications are available here.