Lathrop, CA / Bilingual Weekly
San Joaquin Delta College student Omar Ornelas, knew being 19 years old was rather young to run for his city’s City Council and wasn’t surprised when he got just 573 votes —or 12.87 percent of the tally— a distant third place for the two available seats.
Yet fate had that the second vote-getter, Gene Neely —a fire captain— were to be selected to be the new Fire Chief for the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District, thus rendering him unqualified to serve on a position that would have jurisdiction over his job.
The Council decided against the high cost of holding a new election, and they still wanted a five-member Council. So —in spite some reservations by some Council members— they voted 4-0 to invite Ornelas to join them in the dais.
Ornelas’ experience in public business is limited to being a member of the Youth Advisory and the Parks and Recreation commissions.
He’ll be sworn into office on the Council’s next regular meeting, that being on Monday, December 20, 2010.