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With not enough votes to nominate a candidate to fill the council seat left vacant by the resignation of Tito Ortiz, nor the needed votes to call a special election, the Huntington Beach City Council finds itself at a standstill on how to proceed.

Before adjourning their meeting Monday evening, council members pledged to return within seven days to resume negotiations. If they cannot agree on a replacement by the end of the month, a special election will be triggered by law and set for Nov. 2. City Manager Oliver Chi estimates that would cost the city about $1 million.

Monday’s 140-minute special meeting was marked by audience members giving their opinions loudly, sometimes by talking over council members. Many in the crowd were there in support of Gracey Van Der Mark, who finished fourth in last November’s election that brought Ortiz, Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser onto the dais.

Ortiz, who was serving as mayor pro tem when he resigned from the City Council on June 1, also attended the meeting in support of Van Der Mark. Her supporters wore shirts and carried signs asking the council to “honor the vote” by appointing her, since she was the first runner-up.

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