Catalina’s only municipality has lost two council members suddenly in the last few months; Hernandez’s resignation came as a surprised to staff and other council members.
AVALON—Council Member Richard Hernandez resigned from Avalon City Council on July 16, shortly before the meeting that took place the same day. This was a shocking blow to the council, who recently lost City Council member Pam Albers after she died suddenly in May.
City Clerk Denise Radde delivered the news shortly after roll call.
Radde stated at the meeting, “Mayor [Anni] Marshall I would like to make an announcement. Council member Hernandez tendered his resignation to me this afternoon in my office and that is effective immediately. In the near future, we will have an agenda-ized item to discuss our next steps.”
Members of the council appeared surprised upon hearing the announcement.
Mayor Anni Marshall responded “Well, I know we’re all a little bit in shock here, so you’ll have to excuse us … I don’t know what to say so I’m speechless at this point.”
Council member Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy asked whether the resignation is final or if 30 days notice would be possible. Radde said she asked Hernandez if she could retain the letter for the next few council meetings, but his notice was final and he knew how she was proceeding forward. City Attorney Scott Campbell further added: “Once it’s [a resignation letter] received and once it’s in writing, it’s final.”
According to Radde, Hernandez did not address the reasons why he was leaving the council in his resignation letter.
MacGugan-Cassidy stated in an email to The Log, “I am disappointed to have received the news of his resignation. It came as a shock to me. While no specific reason or details were given, it leaves a gap once again that we will need to fill. I will wish Mr. Hernandez all the best in his future and have appreciated project work we have accomplished together these past few years. At this stage, I am not at all sure what our plan will be. I believe we will hear options in the near future but not sure which upcoming meeting we will be discussing the matter. It is still too soon to know.”
The Log reached out to Hernandez by phone, but did not hear back from him at press time. Our reporting will be updated online or in a future issue should any further information become available.
Hernandez’s contact information and photo were immediately taken down for the city of Avalon’s official website at cityofavalon.com.