Assembly-bound Acosta to leave City Council on Dec. 4

Dante Acosta. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Dante Acosta will step down from his Santa Clarita City Council post effective at midnight on Dec. 4, the day before he begins his duties as the newly elected Assemblyman from the 38th District, he told The Signal on Friday.

Acosta, the Mayor Pro Tem of Santa Clarita, is expected to take part in this coming Tuesday’s council meeting – the body’s only meeting of November, and Acosta’s last as a council member.

By law, he is required to step down from the council when he becomes Assemblyman.

Acosta, a Republican, defeated Democrat Christy Smith in last week’s election — receiving 71,058 votes, or 53.1 percent, to Smith’s 62,871 votes, or 46.9 percent.

After Tuesday, the council next meets on Dec. 13, when it will swear in Bob Kellar, re-elected last week, and Cameron Smyth, elected again after a 10-year absence from the body.

With Acosta departed for Sacramento, the council will work with just four members at that Dec. 13 meeting – Kellar, Smyth and incumbents Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste.

Their first order of business will be to choose a mayor from among themselves.

They then will have to begin the process of filling Acosta’s vacant seat.

They could either call for a special election, or – as the council has done in the past – solicit applicants and then appoint a committee to recommend to the council which applicant should fill the vacant seat.

Acosta, meanwhile, traveled to Sacramento this week to train for his new role in the Assembly. He was in Washington, D.C. on Friday for a meeting of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Acosta’s move to the statehouse has been bumpy. During the Assembly campaign, he was accused of sexual harassment by the female campaign manager of an Assembly primary opponent – charges Acosta denies. Then on Nov. 1, the woman filed a defamation suit against Acosta over statements he allegedly made about her in denying the harassment allegations.

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