Published: 22 March 2012 09:13 PM

Three members of the Loma Linda City Council agreed Thursday evening to cancel the city’s June 5 election and appoint the only three candidates to the three vacant seats.

The move saved the city $10,000 but was made reluctantly by councilmen worried about “serious apathy among the citizens of Loma Linda,” as Councilman Ron Dailey said.

The decision is unprecedented in Loma Linda’s 42-year history but has been made occasionally in other cities, including two years ago in Rialto.

Councilman Stan Brauer, who is leaving the council after five terms, recalled that when the city incorporated in 1970 there were 15 candidates for the five-member council.

“This is the first time we’ve only had three for three,” Brauer said.

Acting before an audience of six, three councilmen agreed to appoint two incumbents, Mayor Rhodes “Dusty” Rigsby and Councilman Ovidiu Popescu, and a new member, Loma Linda University Medical Center anesthesiologist John Lenart, who will take Brauer’s seat.

Rigsby and Popescu excused themselves from voting, even though legally they were allowed to do so, to avoid the appearance of a conflict.

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