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Council Scheduled to Discuss Process to Appoint New District 3 Councilmember After Kennedy’s Passing

Published on Friday, August 12, 2022 | 5:15 am

A bouquet and memorial portrait were displayed at Councilmember John J. Kennedy’s seat on the City Council dais during the Council’s August 8, 2022 meeting. [KPAS]
The City Council on Monday will acknowledge the vacancy created by the passing of Councilmember John Kennedy and direct the City Clerk to file a notice of intention to fill that vacancy by appointment. 

Kennedy died on July 21 and is the first City Councilmember in modern times to die while in office.

According to the City Charter, the City Council has 75 days from the day the vacancy was created to appoint a new councilmember. 

“The Council District 3 vacancy must be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the City Council within 75 days of the vacancy occurring, requiring the City Council to take action no later than Tuesday, October 4, 2022,” according to a city staff report. “The City Charter does not provide any further direction or impose requirements on the process other than to select a qualified resident voter from District 3 to serve as the appointee to fill the vacancy.”

But Kennedy’s death created two vacancies according to the staff report.

The first vacancy relates to Kennedy’s current term of office, which ends on December 12, 2022.

The second vacancy begins December 12, 2022, the beginning of the term was elected when he won the June 7th Primary Election. 

“That vacancy does not exist until December 12, and it is to be filled no earlier than that date, and no later than 75 days thereafter, by the newly constituted City Council sworn into office at the December 12th Organizational Meeting,” according to the staff report.

The term for the second vacancy will last until December 9, 2024. Following the 2024 March Primary and November General election cycle, a voter-elected District 3 Councilmember will begin a two year term for the remainder of the unexpired term ending on December 7, 2026. 

“The person who is appointed by the City Council to fill the remainder of Councilmember Kennedy’s current term  may be the same person who is appointed by the Council to fill the second vacancy,” according to the agenda. 

However, there must be two separate City Council votes, and the second appointment must be made by the newly sworn and constituted City Council that takes office as of the December 12, 2022 Organizational Meeting. 

A public celebration of Kennedy’s life is scheduled for Sept. 30 in front of City Hall.

Kennedy’s sister Lena Kennedy addressed the Pasadena City Council on Monday, Aug. 8.

“I greet you with a heavy heart,” Lena Kennedy said.

“Somedays it feels broken.” 

First elected in 2013, Councilmember Kennedy proudly and tirelessly served Pasadena’s District 3. During his tenure on City Council, he chaired the Public Safety Committee, served on the Finance Committee, and was one of three City representatives to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority. He served on a variety of local boards — including the Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, the Pasadena Police Foundation, and the Toni Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA. He served on the University of Notre Dame, School of Architecture’s Commission on Equity. Diversity & Inclusion. He was an ardent supporter of affordable housing, livable wages, and local hiring. 

In 2014, Pasadena’s Mayor asked Councilmember Kennedy to lead a Sister Cities delegation to China and Taiwan on his behalf. Such an assignment was familiar and welcomed as Council member Kennedy had been a People-to-People Student Ambassador to several cities in Europe and participated in goodwill missions to a number of countries in Africa. Several years ago, he led a delegation from Pasadena to Dakar-Plateau. Senegal, which is now Pasadena’s newest Sister City.

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