By Katrina Van Duzee/Garden Grove Journal
After voting on several proposed applicants the Garden Grove City Council finally came to a majority and appointed candidate Kris Beard to fill the vacant seat on the council Tuesday night.
Citizens crowded the Community Meeting Center to hear the results and six residents addressed the council to speak in favor of runner-up in the 2008 election, Robin Marcario. Although residents expressed their opinion that their previous vote should count, the council members voted 3-1 with Steve Jones voting no.
“I am truly surprised and to be honest I am very humbled,” Beard said. “I am going to focus on teamwork within the city and the council in order to weather these tough economic times.”
This opening occured after Councilmember Andrew Do announced his resignation in early April, leaving a vacant seat. Councilmember Beard’s term will expire December 2012.
Beard said his first action is going to be to have a meeting with the senior council members to be debriefed on all the upcoming and ongoing issues and to then do his best to use his background in public service to help the city prosper.
Beard’s credentials include serving as a member on the Garden Grove Planning Commission and as city clerk for Signal Hill.
Before the council could come to a majority vote, applicants Phat Bui, Dennis Ellsworth and Joseph Pak were all considered and Councilmember Dina Nguyen proposed having an election to determine the short-term council member.
“I am for an election because I feel the tremendous pressure to have to appoint one person out of 32 applicants. It is a lot of pressure to take away the ability of people to vote for who they want. The right to vote is very precious,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen did not support nominee Bui, who was the first applicant proposed by Councilmember’s Steve Jones and Bruce Broadwater, because she said he came to her before the election and said the Vietnamese population would not support her if she did not vote for him.
Concerned residents filed out of the meeting, some disappointed in the decision and claiming democracy had lost again. Others were happy the city did not spend money on an election now, when another one will take place in the fall.
“I feel that we should get a very concerned person up there,” resident Peggy Bergin said. “We have already voted for her (Marcario) once, I feel strongly that Robin has shown her dedication to this city.”
Beard is the seventh appointed councilmember in the history of Garden Grove. Three of the applications for were not considered because two candidates did not vote in the 2008 election and one was not a resident of Garden Grove.