HB Council Tables Tito Rebuke

By Dan Jamieson

The HB City Council decided not to strip new council member Tito Ortiz of his Mayor Pro Tem title, and instead urged the former pro cage fighter to commit himself to his role as council member.

Ortiz came under fire since being elected last November for pointedly refusing to wear a mask at public meetings and community events, and most recently had a run-in with a local burger joint when he refused to wear a mask.

At the February 1, 2021 council meeting, Council members also upbraided him for not returning phone calls, missing meetings, and not taking advantage of opportunities to learn how city government works.

The Pro Tem position is next in line to become mayor, and although it’s described as just a ceremonial No. 2 title, current mayor Kim Carr told Ortiz she didn’t feel she could trust him to fill in when needed.

Oritz is next in line to become mayor, which does entail the power to influence the council’s agenda and make some committee appointments.

The council has no power to expel members, but the HB council does vote on the rotating mayoral spot.

During the Monday meeting, Ortiz took the tongue-lashing in stride, interrupting now and then to object.

“Sorry you had to sit through this Tito,” said council member Erik Peterson, who criticized Carr for not working through any issues in private. “If we had leadership mayor, you would have confronted this by yourself with Mr Ortiz. It wouldn’t have been brought here [with Ortiz] dragged through the mud.”

Once council members had their say, Ortiz fired back, saying that Carr, council members Mike Posey and Dan Kalmick, and city manager Oliver Chi, “conspired against me,” along with the local media which has been in a “non-stop attacking mode.”

But “give me a chance,” he implored. “I’m going to learn.”

In the end, the council decided to do just that, and it tabled the action to remove Ortiz as Mayor Pro Tem, which had been proposed by Carr, Posey and Kalmick .

For more coverage, see https://voiceofoc.org/2021/02/huntington-beach-city-council-grants-tito-ortiz-a-second-chance-as-mayor-pro-tem/

Video of the council meeting:

https://huntingtonbeach.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=10&clip_id=1726&meta_id=291389

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