Atascadero council nixes Clay in filling vacant seat

December 12, 2012

The Atascadero City Council rejected the bid of outgoing councilman Jerry Clay to return to office and instead appointed former Planning Commissioner Heather Moreno to fill the seat vacated by newly elected mayor Tom O’Malley. [Tribune]

The council voted 3-1 to appoint Moreno, 45, who has two years remaining on her seat. Councilman Bob Kelley supported Clay returning to the council and cast the lone vote against Moreno.

Council members Roberta Fonzi and Brian Sturtevant said it was better for the city to appoint someone younger than Clay, 78.

Clay, who served 16 years on the council, received recognition during the meeting. City staff conducted a slide show presentation honoring him, and council members and public speakers praised him as well. Clay additionally made a short speech about his time on the council and received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Clay and Moreno were the only two candidates for appointment mentioned at the meeting. Moreno announced her intent to seek the vacant seat during public comment.

“It’s a commitment I’m willing and ready to make,” Moreno said.

Moreno served on the Atascadero Planning Commission from 2008 to 2010 and is a certified public accountant who also runs a wellness coaching business called PeopleFit USA.

By filling the vacancy on the council, Atascadero avoids calling a special election which would cost between $35,000 and $85,000.


18 Comments

  1. pasoparent5 says:

    Seems strange that someone can just throw her name out during public comment and *POOF* become a council member that very same night. Am I missing something?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

    • photocal says:

      Also… very strange that there is no recent mention of the 12.4 million Dollars of mis-spent, and mis-used FEMA funds that the Federal Goverment is currently trrying to locate where it went. Atascadero has been trying to re-invent its self since the 80′s. Back then a local realitor would tell You “A” town was not a good investment, try Paso, or Templeton…But stay clear of Atascadero. True then…. and even more so now. The whole SLO County problems had reems of type publiched in CCN about all the problems in Paso, etc: The Election came and went… and guess what…….. Nothing changed…. it’s still the same old sh*t. Either learn to live with it…. or move. Just cant find a better place as of yet.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

      • danika says:

        Photocal, I grew up in Atascadero. I am well versed in the political atmosphere there. My eyes are open and watching.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

        • photocal says:

          Interesting….. Today, Dec 14th, FEMA ok’ed the City of Atascadero mis-spent funds of $8,000,000.00 dollars for earthquake retro-fitting . Interesting that this type spending just go on and on. What the hay…. it’s just taxpayer dollars.Those of You that live in Atascadero….. take a look around Your neighborhood and see whos moving in ? Soon to arrive…. the King City…. Santa Maria type of problems. Being serious…. Paso will be next.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • Mr. Holly says:

      Welcome to the “reign” of O’Malley and friends. After throwing his long time supporter and “friend” Jerry Clay under the bus he, Fonzi and Stutevant put another puppet in place for O’Malley to control.
      “POOF” is a great comment or dirty politics at its best. ATown just took a turn for the worst when O’Malley and McKinney are running the show AGAIN. What has O’Malley really down for this city except to exploit himself?
      I think when we see the Gearhart indictments come down and the results of the audits the citizens of Atascadero may wake up and admit to the corruption that is within their city hall.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  2. Maxfusion says:

    And the winner of the Atascadero pot belly contest is??????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  3. Cindy says:

    Personally, it seems to me that if an elected official runs for a different seat, then they shouldn’t be able to return to their vacant seat if they lose. This practice of guaranteeing ones seat deprives the public of a truly elected council as we’ve seen occur here. When O’Malley ran for Mayor unchallenged, it was obvious that his previous seat would be open, this is dangerous as it allows the council to load the seats with their own like minded people and this is exactly what should never happen. At least Clay has been elected to the CC many times and therefore that is who they should have picked in my opinion but they picked someone who has never ever ran for a public seat or been elected by comparison. That was wrong in my opinion and should not be allowed to happen again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  4. kayaknut says:

    Clay knew and Gearhart flew

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

  5. MikeB says:

    Id settle for honesty and integrity over diversity

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 2

  6. SLOBIRD says:

    This article left out an important statement made by the Council last night. They stated the need for “diversity”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  7. Cindy says:

    “Council members Roberta Fonzi and Brian Sturtevant said it was better for the city to appoint someone younger than Clay, 78.”

    Talk about blatant age discrimination! Isn’t there a law against that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

    • Mr. Holly says:

      I agree that this is discrimination. Where is the representation for the elderly? Bob Kelley is now the senior member of the council although it is quite obvious that he is not a Tom O’ Malley and Wade McKinney player. They will probably try to eliminate him. O’Malley’s first action was to remove Kelley from some important Oversight Committee and replace him with his sidekicks Fonzi and McKinney.
      This should be interesting because I think Kelley may have some dirt on these characters. Could you imagine if they “pissed” Kelley off that he may go along with Brennler and disclose all of the McKinney-O’Malley back room deals. You can say what you want about Kelley but I think he may be the most honest member among O’Malley and Fonzi.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

    • kayaknut says:

      It would be if this were a private sector job, but we all know that the public sector works with a different set of rules, if any. In the public sector you can be married and have sex with your assistant and all that happens is your assistant gets a newly created civil servant job and a bloated salary.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

      • Cindy says:

        I can appreciate your sarcasm but the this is a Federal Law, age discrimination.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  8. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Heather Moreno is a wonderful, honest hard working person with no personal agenda who will be a great asset to the city council. Congratulations to her, and to the Council for getting a new and younger person on the council.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 18

    • SLOBIRD says:

      Maybe she will stick around for awhile this time and serve the people. Hopefully she will find time to attend the Council Meetings regularly. I do wish her luck is she does the job in the best interest of the citizens of Atascadero. Time will tell and then we have another election in two years.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    • Mr. Holly says:

      Her agenda is to support O’Malley. She will never be controversial and speak out for all of abuses that McKinney and O’Malley conspire together so that Tom appears to be the one who is responsible for every possible positive thing in the city. O’Malley, Roberta Fonzi, Al Fonzi, the ABA, Ron Walters,Tea Party people and Agenda 21 supporters have now put two unknowns, or yes people for Tom, on the council. This could be scarry.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

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