Chula Vista

Chula Vista City Council Fills Vacant Seat After Lengthy Process

The city council decided in December to appoint a new member instead of holding a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Steve Padilla, the former District 3 councilmember now serving the State Senate

Tan building on a sunny day
Joe Little, NBC 7

The Chula Vista City Council has a new member.

Alonso Gonzalez, a real estate agent who worked briefly for the council more than a decade ago, was sworn in Tuesday for a two-year term after a 3-1 vote for his appointment. Chula Vista Mayor John McCann was the dissenting vote.

The council had a vacant seat after Councilmember Steve Padilla, who represented District 3, was elected to the California Senate in December.

Gonzalez was selected over nine other candidates: Nimpa Akana, Devonna Almagro, Griselda Delgado, David Diaz, Gian Ghio, Victor Lopez, Daniel Rice (Vazquez), Sophia Rodriguez and Tanya Williams. Before the vote was held, the council interviewed all 10 applicants, a process which took several days.

Gonzalez has lived in Chula Vista for seven years and works as a real estate broker. The city said he has "extensive land-use knowledge including eight years of local government service in land use and policy development." He has a master's degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University.

"I am an advocate for healthy, vibrant communities that favor inclusion over single-family zoning," Gonzalez said. "My expertise with land use and experience in local government administration are the tools that will allow me to serve the Chula Vista City Council District 3 and its residents well."

District 3 comprises the southeast and, geographically, the largest portion of the city.

The council decided in December to appoint a replacement as opposed to holding a special election. The replacement is not allowed to run for re-election in 2024.

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