The Pasadena City Council on Tuesday appointed developer Joel Bryant to temporarily fill the seat at the dais left vacant after Chris Holden was elected to the state Assembly.
Bryant is a member of the board of directors for the Rose Bowl Operating Co. and Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.
In May, he completed construction of the Classics at Washington Park, a housing complex built on the site of a liquor store deemed a public nuisance by city officials. City Hall contributed funding to help Bryant acquire the property in exchange for him dedicating half of the project’s eight town homes as affordable housing.
Bryant will serve as a council member until May 6, when the winner of an upcoming City Council election will begin a four-year term.
But until then, Bryant has the same decision-making rights as an elected council member, City Clerk Mark Jomsky said.
Bryant represents Council District 3, where Holden held power for nearly 24 years. The area includes much of Northwest Pasadena, as well as portions of Old Pasadena, the civic center and Playhouse District north of Colorado Boulevard.
“I’m going to do a lot of listening,” Bryant, who grew up in Pasadena and attended John Muir High School, said of his short-term leadership position. “My role first and foremost is representing folks in District 3 and being their link to this body.”
Rules in the city’s charter required city leaders to appoint a replacement for Holden within 75 days of his Nov. 30 resignation, or Feb. 13.
Summit Evangelical Church Pastor Nicholas Benson, Los Angeles Urban League executive John J. Kennedy and businessman Ishmael Trone are competing to represent District 3 on the March 5 ballot.
If none receive more than half the vote, an April 16 runoff will determine a winner.
Council members voted unanimously to appoint Bryant after interviewing Bryant and four others who had volunteered for the post.
Appointment candidates included attorney Tarek Shawky, a member of the city’s Northwest Commission; retired teacher Sharon Higuera; script reader Brian Carmody; and Craig Washington, a project manager for Jacobs Engineering Group in Pasadena and longtime Tournament of Roses volunteer.
Council members praised each of the candidates, but said Bryant set himself apart with his knowledge of urban planning concepts and of the city’s general plan, which is due for an update in the next few months.
“Growth shouldn’t occur throughout the city, but [it should be encouraged] in areas where we need growth to occur,” such as around public transportation hubs, Bryant said.
Bryant also expressed concerns about recent incidents of violence involving local youth.
“It’s heavy on my mind. I feel like there’s a disconnect between our society and our youth,” he said.
Bryant is the 23rd person to be appointed to the council since Pasadena was incorporated as a city in 1886, Jomsky said.
The last two appointments to the council occurred more than 25 years ago and involved current Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, according to city records.
Bogaard was appointed to the council -- then called the city Board of Directors -- in June 1978 after the resignation of Charles McKenney, who later went on to cofound Arlington Gardens.
Bogaard went on to win election to the board, but resigned in November 1986 to orchestrate the merger of Wells Fargo and First Interstate banks.