Lindsay council denies excuse of councilmember’s seat

(Rigo Moran)

Lindsay City Council could see a change of seats in the near future after council denies to excuse the absence of councilmember Caudillo

LINDSAY – At its latest meeting, Lindsay City Council chose not to secure the seat of council member Ramona Caudillo, who is taking an absence from her council duties for health reasons.

Councilmember Caudillo requested her absence from her council duties from July 11 to Oct. 8. However, because the request was not excused by council at its July 11 meeting, her seat has potential to be freed up in the near future.

“In the charter, it’s very clear that it states that if a council member has three unexcused absences in a row, that their seat is considered vacant,” City Manager Joe Tanner said.

According to the city’s charter – the city’s municipal code – if a council member misses three consecutive meetings, their seat will be considered vacant. However, if the absences are excused by council, the councilmember can hold their position on council amid their time away from city council.

Mayor Hipolito Angel Cerros made a motion to excuse Caudillo’s absences at the meeting. However, neither of the other present council members, Yolanda Flores or Rosaena Sanchez, seconded the motion. The reason behind this is unclear. Councilmember Ramiro Serna was absent from the meeting and, therefore, could not make a motion on the matter.

Because the motion failed to pass, this means that if Caudillo is absent from the next two council meetings without excuse, her seat will be declared vacant and she will be removed from council altogether.

From what was reported at the council meeting, Caudillo did submit a doctor’s note to substantiate that she would miss the meetings due to her health. However, Caudillo – who was not present at this meeting – would miss six city council meetings during her absence for her medical leave.

Tanner explained that there is still time for the council to change the outcome before Caudillo’s seat is declared vacant.

“We have a council meeting scheduled on (July) 25, and the 18th. So if she misses those two meetings and there’s no excuse provided by the council, then she will have vacated her seat,” Tanner said.

If Caudillo’s seat does open up, the council will have to accept applications for council members within 16 working days of the seat’s vacancy. Once the applications are received, the council will have 30 calendar days to appoint a new council member from eligible applicants.

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