Newly elected Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz could have his title taken away from him Monday, as other council members accuse the former fighter of not being fit for the job .
After the election, the Huntington Beach City Council could have decided on its own who would become mayor and mayor pro tem. Instead, council members deferred to a resolution that gives the pro tem position to the top vote-getter.
And out of a field of 14, Ortiz garnered more votes than any other candidate.
"And when it comes from the heart for the future of our community, I’m all in," Ortiz said in November, shortly after winning the election.
Ortiz did not respond to a request for an interview Monday.
Three fellow council members have now taken a step to remove the mixed martial arts fighter via a no-confidence vote, saying he is not pulling his weight, refusing to wear a mask to public meetings and has not shown he can step in for the mayor if needed.
"Has nothing to do with political beliefs or his opinions about QAnon conspiracy or any of that," Mayor Kim Carr said. "It truly is, 'Can you do the job?' 'Are you professional?'"
Said Dan Kalmic, a fellow council member, "I don’t take any pride or joy in making this motion. It really comes down to his behavior, lack of judgment--his impulse control."
Kalmick is referring to an incident earlier this month when Ortiz refused to wear a mask to order food to go at a hamburger stand. Ortiz later apologized in a Facebook post, where supporters are now calling the no confidence vote “vindictive.”
Proponents of the no-confidence vote say Ortiz was fairly elected and they want him to have a voice in this city. But they don’t believe he’s ready to lead the council. He would become the mayor in one year.
Regardless of the results of the no-confidence vote, even if Ortiz is stripped of the title, he will remain on the city council.