Asbarez – The City Council on a 4-1 vote on December 14 appointed Planning Commissioner Ashod Mooradian as city treasurer, rejecting requests to hold a special election or go through an application process, the Whittier Daily News reports.
Mooradian ran for the office a year ago, placing second behind Charles Pell, who resigned in November, citing an increasing workload on his full-time job as an assistant U.S. attorney.
“We have a candidate who has incredible civic experience who’s served on the Planning commission for five years and prior to that he was a member of the Traffic and Safety Commission,” Councilman Jack Hadjinian said.
Councilman Bill Molinari suggested the city put out a request for resumes, as nearby city councils and school boards have done when faced with a vacancy.
“I’ve known Mr. Mooradian for many years,” Molinari said. “We go back almost 30 years. Certainly, he’s well qualified. This would allow for other folks to apply.”
And there was a third candidate in the treasurer’s 2015 race – Rosemarie Vasquez, he said.
Other council members said there was no reason to delay, saying that Mooradian had placed second in the last city treasurer’s election.
However, some residents said the city ought to call a special election.
“I don’t want your predetermined person as city treasurer,” said Yvette Fimbres.
And cost shouldn’t be an issue, Fimbres said.
“If you can afford to pay off Garfield, we can afford to spend $50,000 for residents to decide who should be city treasurer,” she said, referring to the council’s 3-1 vote on November 30 approving an undisclosed settlement with the developer regarding a more then 10-year-old dispute over street improvements.
Mooradian, who is an attorney and worked for the state bar for nine years prosecuting wayward lawyers, was born and raised in Montebello.
“I’ll do my best to be fair, to be transparent, as good as I can be and helpful to the council,” he said.