Home News San Jose appoints first councilmember in nearly 30 years

San Jose appoints first councilmember in nearly 30 years


After months of contentious debate on fill its vacant seats, the San Jose Metropolis Council appointed a Stanford College administrator to symbolize East San Jose.

Domingo Candelas was chosen for the District 8 seat, marking the primary time since 1994 {that a} vacant San Jose council spot has been stuffed by appointments quite than a particular election.

“There’s a variety of work to do,” Candelas stated about his new position, “from protecting our group protected to homelessness to environmental points.”

The district covers town’s Evergreen neighborhood, from Lake Cunningham Park within the north to Evergreen Valley Neighborhood School to the east all the way in which down south to the Silver Creek Valley Nation Membership.

Candelas, who works as Stanford’s Director of Native Authorities Affairs, was interviewed by councilmembers on Tuesday afternoon after which chosen by a vote amongst a pool of 4 different candidates. The vote was 7-2, with Mayor Matt Mahan and Bien Doan voting towards Candelas.

The brand new councilmember’s time period will start Jan. 30 and final till the following basic election in 2024 — and Candelas has stated he’ll run in that contest.

A former staffer of Sen. Jim Beall and the county’s Water District, Candelas says he desires to give attention to housing affordability, stronger social providers and cleaner public areas.

“I’m excited,” Candelas stated in an interview. “My prime precedence is to verify the residents of District 8 have a voice at Metropolis Corridor. An workplace that’s responsive, accountable and engaged with individuals.”

Candelas confronted off towards Evergreen College District Board Trustee President Patricia Andrade, metropolis worker Salvador Alvarez, Sikh group chief and software program supervisor Sukhdev Bainiwal and police sergeant Tam Truong.

The District 8 seat grew to become vacant in November after former councilmember Sylvia Arenas was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Almaden Valley’s District 10 seat — beforehand held by Mahan — was additionally left vacant and will likely be stuffed on Thursday by the same course of.

San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan is photographed throughout appointment interviews session at Metropolis Corridor, in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (Josie Lepe for Bay Space Information Group) 

Efforts to fill the seat began after final November’s election when Mahan instantly got here out with a proposal to carry a particular election for the 2 vacant council spots. Together with former Mayor Sam Liccardo, Mahan argued that regardless of the prices of the elections — estimated to rise as much as $11 million — residents ought to have a voice in who represents them.

However progressive councilmembers rejected the mayor’s suggestion, arguing {that a} particular election can be pricey and that low voter turnout would produce a candidate that didn’t precisely mirror the group.

At stake was the council’s ideological make-up. A particular election would have elevated the probability of Mahan nabbing a reasonable ally on the council, whereas an appointment might permit for the council’s majority-progressive members to vote in certainly one of their very own.

Councilmembers in December voted 7-4 for appointments — with reasonable councilmember Dev Davis voting alongside together with her progressive colleagues — a shocking rebuke of town’s prime management and Mahan’s first political swing at bat as mayor.

The drama continued on Tuesday evening after councilmembers abruptly entered an emergency closed session midway by public remark. Metropolis Lawyer Nora Frimann later defined that considerations have been dropped at town clerk’s consideration in regards to the “legitimacy” of the evening’s appointment course of.

Shortly after, Truong, Bainiwal and Alvarez stated throughout public remark that they’d instructed town clerk that their opponent Candelas had unfairly ready for his interview questions whereas ready exterior the council’s chambers. The three candidates all stated that they noticed Candelas utilizing his telephone and laptop computer earlier than he was known as to the council chamber for his interview. Throughout his interview, Candelas gave the impression to be referring to notes and had ready responses, not like the opposite 4 candidates.

Addressing councilmembers, Candelas denied the allegations.

“I’ve been getting ready for this for weeks,” he stated. “I bought to know what points are vital to town. I did my very own homework.”

For the mayor — who has supported particular elections from the start — the allegations have been a one-two punch.

“I’m disillusioned,” stated Mahan. “I feel we might have been served properly with an election. However I perceive it’s the will of the council to maneuver ahead. I’m additionally disillusioned that the integrity of the method has been known as into query this night. And I anticipate us to do higher on Thursday.”

However the dust-up didn’t spoil the second for the brand new councilmember’s household. Roughly a dozen gave Candelas hugs and cheered for him as quickly as councilmembers completed their vote.

“I personally really feel tremendous excited,” stated Candelas’ sister, Claudia Candelas-Hernandez. “I’ve seen my brother put together so laborious for this. We’re merchandise of District 8. And I do know he’s going to do a very good job.”


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