Days of Our Lives: Who will be the next Surf City mayor?

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Informed and “reliable” sources have told the Voice that Joe Carchio has stated his understanding that, following his self-assumed reelection to the Huntington Beach City Council next November, he will become the city’s mayor for 2011.

HB Councilmen Joe Carchio, Don Hansen

According to practice established by the city council in 1991, however, councilmembers rotate in set order into the mayor’s docket for one-year terms. According to policy, it would be councilmember Don Hansen’s turn to be mayor in 2011, followed by Carchio the next year.

The resolution was passed to prevent manipulation by special interests (the Huntington Beach Company in particular) of the mayor selection process, according to councilmember Keith Bohr.

Since its inception, the resolution has been followed without exception, but the city council can adopt a new selection method by majority vote anytime.

Reform advocates wanted to make the resolution part of the city charter so the council could not alter it. Their efforts failed at a June 7 city council meeting when councilmembers decided not to place the proposal on the November ballot along with other proposed charter changes.

Carchio issued a statement by e-mail firmly denying the assertion that he said he would be mayor out of turn.

“Your source is ill informed and unreliable. I have never had conversations with Don Hansen about switching rotation for mayor nor has Don Hansen had that conversation with me. Also, I am not assuming nor have I ever assumed about being re-elected, that (sic) is entirely up to the voters and I will be judged on my record over the last four years. I think we as a council have made some difficult decisions, but mostly positive. I hope you will print this response correctly.”

Likewise, Councilmember Don Hansen told the Voice that he did not have “any kind” of a deal with Carchio.

The sources did not assert that Carchio claimed he made a deal with Hansen, only that he would be mayor starting next December.

Carchio Reaches Out
Regardless, in the city’s official video record of the June 7 city council meeting it’s obvious that Carchio is reaching out to Hansen during a heated debate over whether the resolution should be put before the voters or not.

And, likewise, Hansen dropped strong hints of his own desire to politicize the process for selecting the city’s mayor.

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About Surf City Voice

John Earl is the editor of the Surf City Voice. Frequent contributor Debbie Cook, a former Huntington Beach Mayor, is board president of the Post Carbon Institute.