City Council Has (Another) New Face

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Roberto C. Treviño is sworn in to serve as interim District 1 Council member. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Roberto C. Treviño is sworn in to serve as interim District 1 Council member. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Five of the 11 people who formed the presiding City Council for the final regular meeting of 2014 on Thursday have or had the “interim” word behind their title.

Interim Mayor Ivy Taylor. Interim District 2 Councilmember Keith Toney. Former interim, now elected District 10 Councilmember Mike Gallagher. Former interim, now elected District 9 Councilmember Joe Krier, and now, Interim District 1 Councilmember Roberto C. Treviño.

It’s a Council where the average citizen might need a program to know exactly who holds which seat.

It took less than a half hour for Mayor Taylor and City Council to meet in executive session Thursday morning and settle on Treviño to fill the last empty seat of the year, this one vacated by former District 1 Councilmember Diego Bernal who is now running for a Texas House seat vacated by mayoral candidate Mike Villarreal.

District 6 Councilmember Ray Lopez made the motion to vote in Treviño, an architect who has his own practice.

“Being the longest tenured council member on the dais today … I’d like to make a motion to appoint Robert C. Treviño,” Lopez said.

That motion carried unanimously. After an appearance by Bernal at the podium to acknowledge recognition from his former colleagues and a round of boisterous applause from an audience packed with rideshare and taxi advocates, Treviño was sworn in and seated.

Interim District 1 Councilmember Roberto C. Treviño takes his seat during his first City Council meeting. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Interim District 1 Councilmember Roberto C. Treviño takes his seat for his first City Council meeting. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Treviño was chosen from a field of 14 District 1 applicants. Two other finalists, Susan Galindo, the former president of the Northeast Independent School District, and Dr. Holly Keyt, a UT Health Sciences Center critical care physician, also appeared before Council Thursday for a second presentation before Treviño was selected.

At the next regular meeting of City Council in January, interim District 2 Councilmember Keith Toney will be replaced by a new interim council member, Alan Warrick II, who defeated Toney in a special election runoff on Dec. 9 and will serve until the May 9 city elections when all interim officeholders will become elected for a full two-year term of service or be replaced by other elected representatives.

Related Stories:

Three Finalists Emerge for D1 Council Seat

Villarreal Backs Rideshare, Van de Putte Follows Suit

Warrick Wins Big in D2 Council Runoff

New Rules Could Scare Off Rideshare

Interview: Mayor Taylor on the Police Union, Negotiations and Her Political Future

2 thoughts on “City Council Has (Another) New Face

  1. Super excited for this! Our City just got a great forward thinker who’s already doing many things to contribute to the Cultural Renaissance we’re going through.

  2. I’m growing increasingly concerned about the council’s process in selecting interim replacements. I concede it seems a difficult goal, to sift through applicants on paper and in brief contact to find an individual focused on continuity and ready to contribute immediately (I would hope such would be of the highest priorities for a short term appointment by the council). At a minimum I would expect the council to be getting better at identifying such but after the last two appointments that doesn’t appear to me to be the case.

    Of recent we’ve had the debacle between Mari Rodriguez and Medina’s staff which bordered on embarrassment and would’ve greatly upset me if I was a District 7 constituent. Now today our new District 1 interim councilman abstains from his first real vote.

    Whatever your opinion on the ride share ordinance this was a high profile issue with readily available material for study to the public. It was clear this ordinance was to be the first vote (or second as it turned out) of the new District 1 council member. With that knowledge, the idea that the new council member would feel so ill informed as to even cast a vote on it is alarming. Several people in nearly analogous positions to Councilman Trevino, in that they were supposedly privy to no information that Councilman Trevino did not have access to – namely Alan Warrick (and to a lesser extent Mike Villarreal and Leticia Van de Putte) – have expressed informed opinions on the ride share issue. It is beyond the pale to imagine you would seek the District 1 seat without such an informed opinion on this issue.

    While its true that Councilman Trevino’s vote had no barring on the outcome today such is not really the issue. Nor would a vote antithesis to my personal opinion drawn much ire. The frustration, as a District 1 resident, is that the council apparently picked someone ill prepared for the role based on his refusal to represent District 1 with a vote on the first important issue to cross the dais with him there.

    While I have great hope that Councilman Trevino will better represent my district as his tenure moves on, I think today further highlights issues with the appointment process in that the choice of the council was not immediately prepared to perform duties as such. I would strongly support a much shorter cut off for special elections to fill the interim role. Perhaps a term of as little as two or three months would warrant an election in my opinion

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