The third time was a charm for the National City City Council. Gonzalo J. Quintero was appointed and sworn in as the newest council member at a special meeting Feb. 12 at City Hall.
Two previous attempts in as many meetings saw the council fail to fill a council void left by then Councilwoman Alejandra Sotelo Solis after she was elected National City mayor in November.
Quintero was nominated by Councilman Jerry Cano Tuesday night and advanced to the position after winning unanimous support.
“I have experience in managing hundreds of employees in a family-owned and -operated multi-million-dollar restaurant,” Quintero stated on his application for the position that was submitted in January.
Quintero is a a current board member of Circulate San Diego, was chair of the Traffic Safety Commission for the city from 2011-2016. Additionally he was vice-chair of the National City Planning Commission.
“Having served the city of National City in the above capacity; I have a good knowledge of the mechanics of governance,” he wrote.
“My top two priorities are to address the city’s housing problem,” said Quintero, “and to attract new businesses and expand our sales tax revenue.”
“I’m excited to work with Mr. Quintero and to move National City forward,” said Mayor Sotelo-Solis.
The format for the third meeting mirrored the Feb. 5 meeting where candidates answered questions from the council and advanced to a subsequent round of consideration — however at the time Ditas Delossantos Yamane and Robert “Dukie” Valderrama were the only two candidates to garner two votes in favor.
To win the seat candidates needed at least three votes.
Before the voting process, members of the public delivered one-minute presentations on applicants, self-nominating applicants put themselves forward, such as Judy De Los Santos, and previous applicants restated their interest in filling the seat.
“The city of National City is smiling,” said Councilman Jerry Cano on resolving the issue of who was going to be appointed.
Questions concerning the true cost of a special election were raised. “I think it’s been over-inflated. When we had B and C last year it was only around $50,000,” said Griselda Fierro before the meeting.