The Santa Clara City Council doesn’t always fill vacancies in its ranks. It has operated with a six-member Council before, while waiting for a regular election to bring its ranks to full strength.
At the recent June 12 City Council Meeting — after the six-member council failed to appoint an applicant to Council Seat 5 — Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor said, “Santa Clarans have never left a vacant seat. It’s the Santa Clara way…the Santa Clara way. There has never been a vacant seat on the City Council. We have filled the seats.”
However, when Gillmor was serving her first term on the Council, the Council Member who sat next to her, Tim Jefferies, resigned after moving to Colorado in September 1994.
”I feel strongly we should leave it vacant,” Gillmor told the San José Mercury at the time. “It’s less than 60 days until the election, and we have many qualified candidates. So let the public decide.”
Mayor Eddie Souza told the newspaper, “My feeling is, let those candidates go through the election and fill it that way. I think it’s up to the voters to make that decision.”
In November, Jim Arno was elected to fill Jefferies’ seat.