CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Leaders in Chula Vista deciding on what to do next to fill the now vacant city attorney seat. Voters elected the late Simon Silva in the last election, but before the vote, he passed away after a battle with cancer. Now that seat remains open despite his win.

Major conversations were brought to the forefront at Tuesday’s city council meeting surrounding two vital vacancies, the District 3 councilmember position and the city attorney seat. Tuesday evening, the council did decide to appoint a new city councilmember rather than host a special election. The council also decided on the date for the special election set to replace Silva, marking Nov. 7, 2023.

This comes after former District 3 Councilmember Steve Padilla took his seat in the state senate and the death of city attorney-elect Silva, who died in September.

Some residents pushed to consolidate the two elections in the South Bay, stressing democracy, voice and personal choice in their district.

“Idle time is the devil’s playground. Let the people vote,” Chula Vista resident Anna Renwick said.

However, the council Tuesday did rule to appoint a new councilmember rather than hold a special election.

“I don’t disregard the other councilmembers, they may have a different position, they will do their job, they will vote what they think is the best for all of us, but at the end of the day, no one should make the decision on behalf of the residents of District 3 than a resident of District 3.” 

DANIEL RICE, CHULA VISTA RESIDENT OF DISTRICT 3  

Plans to fill the city attorney seat through a special election still stands, leaving council to decide how people can make their voice heard, ruling Tuesday for in-person voting through voting centers rather than an all-mail in ballot option. It’s a decision expected to cost taxpayers $1.5 to $2 million.