Huntington Beach City Council unanimously voted on June 2 to appoint Councilwoman Barbara Delgleize as mayor pro tem following the resignation of Tito Ortiz.
The vote occurred during a special meeting created to discuss filling the role vacated by Ortiz the day prior.
After a number of public comments, Councilman Erik Peterson nominated Delgleize to the position, citing her past experience on the council and as mayor, calling her a “good buffer” between current Mayor Kim Carr and two recently elected councilmembers.
After the vote confirmed her appointment, Delgleize took the oath of office and was congratulated by the council.
“First of all, I’d like to thank everybody who brought forward my name, and I also would like to say that serving here is something so very, very special,” Delgleize said.
“I do believe, especially this year, we’ve accomplished already a lot of really good things and I anticipate that the year will end well. I’m excited to be also in that [mayor pro tem] role, because I just think sometimes having the support of the mayor and the city manager, it helps us get things clearly stated and done.”
Delgleize will remain in the role until December, at which point she will become mayor.
Despite the role of mayor pro tem being filled, the council still needs to discuss the appointment of a new councilmember to fill Ortiz’s vacated seat.
The process will occur during the next few weeks, said Catherine Jun, assistant to the city manager. Filling the vacant seat could occur in a number of ways, including by a city council appointment or a citywide vote by residents.
Prior to Delgleize’s appointment, numerous Huntington Beach residents came in person to vouch for the appointment of Gracey Van Der Mark, who ran for city council in 2020. She received the fourth-highest number of votes in a race with three vacant seats.
Proponents of appointing Van Der Mark said the council should honor the vote since she was next in line to become a councilmember.
Van Der Mark showed up in person at the June 2 special meeting to express her interest in the appointment.
“I’m here to confirm that I would be honored to serve as your appointment to city council to fill the opening left by Mr. Ortiz,” Van Der Mark told the council. “As you know, I was the first runner up in 2020, receiving over 23,000 votes. I believed I earned those votes the old-fashioned way, wearing out two pairs of tennis shoes knocking on thousands of doors and meeting thousands of residents over the few short months.
“In addition, I have served on the finance commission and I’m currently serving as your planning commissioner. Both of these appointments have provided me with a solid knowledge of the operation of the city and introduction to many staff members. I am as committed to the city as much as I have ever been, and I will be dedicated to working with all of you in city council.”
Van Der Mark also received the endorsement of Ortiz, who wrote on Facebook: “She deserve[s] my spot.”