UPDATE 2: Margie Matthews received the District 4 appointment by a 6-0 vote. Pierluigi Oliverio abstained after having his questions cut short. He voiced concerns that the process was being rushed.
UPDATE: Council members Ash Kalra, Don Rocha and Xavier Campos—elected officials for districts 2, 9 and 5, respectively—did not show up to Friday's special meeting. A City Hall staffer told San Jose Inside, they're either "very late to the meeting or boycotting" the appointment process. The council can conduct interviews and take a vote with just seven council members present, but the appointment still requires six votes.
Rocha was seen leaving City Hall shortly before the meeting with some of his staffers carrying what looked to be Christmas presents, a source said. Campos was spotted in the City Hall basement garage minutes before the meeting.
Calls and text messages to Kalra and Rocha were not immediately returned.
Almost all people at City Hall can talk about Friday is "The Interview," but it has nothing to do with catty Sony execs, sensitive North Korean dictators or a movie that looks terrible on its face.
No, the clamor today centers around the City Council's special meeting, which will focus on appointing a new representative for the District 4 seat. The meeting begins at 1:30pm.
Of the five nominees hoping to succeed Kansen Chu, who left the seat vacant with his State Assembly victory in November, former council member Margie Matthews has been tabbed as the frontrunner. Mayor Chuck Reed and Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo authored a joint memo recommending her appointment. Other nominees include: Bob Dhillon, David Hernandez, Robyn Shearin and Jacqueine Bates. All five are expected to be interviewed by council members from the dais, based on instructions given at Tuesday's council meeting.
Council members Ash Kalra and Don Rocha have objected to the process, calling it rushed and a power grab by the incoming mayor. With only 10 elected officials on the dais, a winning nominee would need six votes.
City Clerk Toni Taber told San Jose Inside that the plan is to hold the meeting similar to how appointments are made to the planning commission. Each interview for such a position generally lasts about 15 minutes, she said.
Taber has prepared an electronic ballot so the public can see how each council member votes, but it is possible this process could be skirted. A council member could make a motion for a vote to appoint a certain individual, but this might be an imprudent step considering the opposition several council members have to the process to start.
"I doubt that they won't interview," Taber said, adding that nominees were invited to attend so they could answer questions from the council.