After six years as a National City City Councilman, Luis Natividad made a surprise announcement at the Tuesday night council meeting where newly elected officials were sowrn in, that he was leaving the council for a job with U.S. Census Bureau.
In National City serving as a council person is a part-time job with an annual compensation at or about $27,000 a year. Most council members hold down a full time job with the exception of Natividad. The Mayor in National City is considered a full-time position. Since $27,000 annual income doesn’t go very far in San Diego County, we cannot fault Natividad for trying to improve his financial situation; however we feel that his timing for resigning is unfortunate for National City.
The Natividad’s announcement caught most on the council and the community completely by surprise. His sudden resignation has raised numerous questions in this “blue collar” working city.
Many residents in the community have questioned why Natividad waited to resign after the city just held an election, denying the voters the right to choose his replacement? The other question is why Natividad has allowed Mayor Morrisson and the city to choose his replacement?
‘Natividad’s last day as a councilman is January 5, 2009 and right or wrong the city council must now either hold a special election or appoint someone to fill the remaining two years of the term. Common sense dictates that due to economic restraints the prudent path would be the appointment process.
Political sense would also dictate that the council uses the recent elections as a guide to select and appoint the next council representative. National City voters went to the polls and made their choices known in the last election for representation. The two top vote getters were elected to the city council. It would make sense that the person who received the next most votes would be appointed to fill Natividad’s vacancy.
Of course what makes sense and politics don’t always go hand-in-hand. Mayor Ron Morrison and the rest the council will be hard pressed by the Filipino community to appoint one of their own to council. Two Filipino candidates, one the incumbent on National City council, were soundly beaten in the recent election leaving the Filipino community without council representation for the first time in a long time.
It is La Prensa’s position that the National City Council do the right thing and fill Natividad’s vacancy via the appointment process and heed the voters’ third place choice from the November election and appoint Ms Mona Alvarado-Rios.