Huntington Beach Councilor Tito Ortiz Could Lose Mayoral Status

Huntington Beach Councilor Tito Ortiz Could Lose Mayoral Status
Newly elected City Councilmember Tito Ortiz stands in front of City Hall in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Nov. 13, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Jack Bradley

Huntington Beach city council will discuss stripping Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz of his title during a Feb. 1 meeting.

Mayor Kim Carr and councilmembers Dan Kalmick and Michael Posey authored an agenda item to bring forward a vote of no confidence on Ortiz, and remove him from his leadership role.

In an email to The Epoch Times Jan. 28, Carr said the proposed action speaks for itself.

“This is a serious job and it should be taken seriously,” Carr said. “Our community expects nothing less."

Ortiz was not available for comment on the motion Jan. 28, but earlier told The Epoch Times that he felt he was being unfairly targeted by some fellow councilors, particularly for his anti-mask stance.

“It’s been a nonstop attack toward me,” Ortiz recently told The Epoch Times. “There are other city council members that don’t wear masks, and they don’t get as much heat as me. Why try to attack my name and attack me as a person because I feel I’m healthy enough that I don’t need to wear a mask?”

If Ortiz’ title is removed, a subsequent agenda item would assign a new mayor pro tem, who would be voted in by council.

Considered the vice mayor of the city council, the mayor pro tem position is a one-year term.

The seat is traditionally earned by the candidate elected to city council with the most votes. Ortiz was the city’s most popular elected official, with 42,246 votes, followed by Kalmick with 30,310 votes.

Upon speculation, the council might choose Kalmick as the new mayor pro tem, since he was the runner-up for the seat. However, council could also choose to assign a mayor pro tem from the 2018 election cycle.

The mayor pro tem position transfers over to the mayor seat every year.

If the votes are in favor of Ortiz remaining as mayor pro tem, he would be next in line for mayor next year. If the council passes the agenda item, Ortiz will not be next for the mayor’s seat.

Ortiz will be allowed to vote on the items pertaining to him.