Chula Vista City Councilmembers vote in Alonso Gonzalez to fill District 3 seat

CHULA VISTA (KUSI) – Chula Vista’s District 3 City Council seat was left open after former Councilmember Steve Padilla was elected into the California State Senate.

City leaders and constituents have been wrapped in an ongoing debate as to how the seat should be filled. Some leaders want the seat to be assigned via appointment, many others hope for a special election.

It was revealed that one of the candidates for the city council position, Devonna Almagro, may have been dishonest regarding her qualifications for the position, prompting a protests on Jan. 31 by the community.

KUSI reached out to Almagro for comment, but she did not reply.

That same day, Chula Vista City Council met to determine who will be the next District 3 councilmember. If City Council remains unable to choose an  appointee by Feb. 3, the position will be determined via special election.

Many Chula Vista residents expressed outrage over city council’s choice to fill the seat themselves. Residents told KUSI’s Rafer Weigel that they deserve to vote for their representative, as the voters have valid concerns for who the appointed District 3 representative will be.

District 3 is the largest district in Chula Vista.

Chula Vista’s Republican Mayor, John McCann, made a motion to have a special election, allowing the people of District 3 to choose their representative, but McCann’s motion was not seconded by any of the Democrat Council Members. Moments later, it went to a council vote, where they McCann was the lone dissenter in appointing Alonso Gonzalez to represent District 3.

“I am an advocate for healthy, vibrant communities that favor inclusion over single-family zoning,” Gonzalez said. “My expertise with land use and experience in local government administration are the tools that will allow me to serve the Chula Vista City Council District 3 and its residents well.”

Gonzalez is a seven-year resident of Chula Vista and is a real estate broker with “extensive land-use knowledge” including eight years of local government service in land use and policy development, according to a city statement.

He previously served as deputy chief of staff for the San Diego City Council. A current member of the Urban Land Institute and the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors, Gonzalez received his masters degree in public administration with an emphasis on financial management from San Diego State University.

He was selected from a shortlist of 10. The other candidates were Nimpa Akana, Devonna Almagro, Griselda Delgado, David Diaz, Gian Ghio, Victor Lopez, Daniel Rice (Vazquez), Sophia Rodriguez and Tanya Williams.

This is the second major instance of the all Democrat Chula Vista City Council working against their newly elected Republican Mayor, in favor of party politics over the will of the people.

KUSI asked Gonzalez for an interview after he was sworn-in, but he declined.

KUSI’s Rafer Weigel reported live with Chula Vista Mayor John McCann with all the details on the now resolved situation.

RELATED STORY: Chula Vista Mayor John McCann rejected from SANDAG Board, giving weighted vote to Democrats

Chula Vista City Council District 3 Map


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