The vote came after a series of incidents involving Yousefian, a stormy presence on the city scene since his election in 2001.
The immediate step that led to Tuesday’s action came in September when Yousefian, during a public meeting, charged that the election of Ara Najarian as mayor was handled improperly.
Yousefian said Fair Political Practices Commission rules now required that Najarian not participate in the vote, since the mayor receives a higher expense reimbursement than his four colleagues.
Najarian called for a city attorney ruling on the matter. When Attorney Scott Howard ruled that Yousefian’s interpretation was correct, the mayor called for a new vote to be held on the matter.
He also called for a revote on Yousefian’s appointment to the airport board, saying the same FPPC rules applied to that post.
The revote for mayor, with Najarian out of the room, went 4-0 as expected, with the council members praising his performance in office.
The no confidence vote on Yousefian was the closest thing the city attorney could suggest to meeting the intent of Najarian’s request for a revote. Howard said the council could have voted to censure their colleague if they wanted to.
Councilman Frank Quintero wanted an immediate vote on changing the airport representative, but was told the matter would have to be noticed and brought back.
Yousefian had lost his support on the council over a series of incidents, including an angry confrontation with the city manager at the end of a recent meeting over staff work on an issue before council.
Councilman John Drayman acknowledged he moved out of his City Hall office to avoid constant lobbying from Yousefian on another issue. Yousefian was also criticized for remarks alleging an imminent emergency in the city’s power grid.
Najarian, who nominated Yousefian for a second term as mayor last April, said he thought the councilman was getting bad advice from friends and associates in maintaining his confrontational style.
Councilman Dave Weaver added an incident to the list, saying Yousefian “verbally and physically” assaulted him during a confrontation before city staff two years ago. Weaver said City Manager Jim Starbird persuaded him not to call the police.
If Yousefian is removed from the airport commission, which seems a certainty, it should ensure a continuation of the council’s stormiest year in recent memory and a very interesting vote next year for mayor, as well as a hot election in 2009, when Yousefian, Najarian and Quintero are up for re-election.