San Carlos Still Searching For Mayor

Tuesday, May 24, 2011  |  Updated 3:07 PM PDT
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San Carlos Still Searching For Mayor

Omar Ahmad died unexpectedly earlier this month and finding a person to take over the post has hit a snag.

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Nearly two weeks after San Carlos Mayor Omar Ahmad died unexpectedly of a heart attack, the City Council failed to agree on who should succeed him during Tuesday night's council meeting.
   

The City Council was poised to select a new mayor from the four remaining council members - Vice Mayor Andy Klein, Randy Royce, Matt Grocott and Bob Grassilli - and decide on a process to fill the council seat vacated  by Ahmad's death for the remaining six months of his term.    
Vice Mayor Andy Klein, who has been acting mayor since May 10, withdrew his name from consideration after apologizing to fellow council members and the public for being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving on  May 12.
   
"I would like to publicly apologize for my actions two weeks ago," Klein said. "I apologize for bringing any embarrassment to the city of San Carlos."
   
Klein subsequently made a motion to nominate Royce for mayor, an office that Royce held in 2010.
   
"He has been volunteering and helping San Carlos since longer than I've been alive," Klein said
   
The motion, however, failed to pass when the council returned a split decision. Royce and Klein supported the motion, and Grocott and  Grassilli voted against it.
   
Grocott called the San Carlos City Council a "wounded animal," and suggested the decision to select a mayor be postponed until a fifth council member could be appointed and potentially nominated for the office.
   
"It would help to heal the community," Grocott said.
   
Grocott suggested that the City Council consider appointing former city councilman and mayor Tom Davids to fill Ahmad's seat.
   
"He follows everything that we do and he's done the job before," Grocott said.
   
Royce said that all four council members were qualified to serve as mayor and warned that appointing someone without public input who wasn't elected by the community could potentially betray voter confidence.
   
"All four of us here are qualified," Royce said. "We are up here because the voters voted for us."
   
The council unanimously agreed to revisit the issue at a special meeting to be scheduled in the second week of June, after applications for City Council candidates could be accepted and reviewed and a fifth member could be appointed.
   
Klein will continue to act as mayor until then.
   
The window for accepting applications opens Tuesday morning and will close at the end of business on June 3.

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