OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Petrilla to Deploy to Afghanistan

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 11, 2012

Jesse Petrilla

Jesse Petrilla

On Monday, Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), a naval reservist, returned to the State Capitol from Afghanistan, and just one day later (yesterday), Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla, a member of the Army National Guard, announced that he is being called to one year of active duty in Afghanistan, effective at the end of this month.

Last year, the Army sent Petrilla to Kentucky for four months to train on commanding a tank platoon.  Councilman Steve Baric wanted to leave Petrilla’s seat vacant during those four months instead of appointing a temporary replacement for Petrilla.  Councilmen Gary Thompson, Tony Beall, and Jerry Holloway wanted to appoint a temporary replacement for Petrilla.

In the midst of this controversy, Thompson resigned citing family health issues.  In the midst of the Thompson resignation, the council then appointed a permanent replacement for Thompson, bringing former Councilwoman Carol Gamble back to the Council.  (Gamble was a member of Rancho Santa Margarita’s inaugural city council until resigning in 2004 to care for her aging parents.)  The process of finding a permanent replacement for Thompson pushed aside the effort of finding a temporary replacement for Petrilla.

Assemblyman Gorell’s seat was held empty for a year until his return from Afghanistan, with little controversy.  In light of the controversy that occurred when the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council considered appointing a 4-month replacement for Petrilla, I think it would be most unlikely that the council would attempt to appoint a year-long replacement for Petrilla, instead leaving the seat empty until his return from Afghanistan.

Here’s Petrilla’s press release:

RSM Councilman Jesse Petrilla called to Afghanistan

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA – Tuesday, April 10, 2012 – Jesse Petrilla, a City Council Member in Rancho Santa Margarita and member of the California Army National Guard, has been called to active duty in Afghanistan, he announced Tuesday.

Petrilla, an Army officer, will begin active duty overseas in Afghanistan at the end of this month in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Current orders call for a one year deployment.

“I am very proud to be given the privilege to serve the greatest nation on earth,” Petrilla said, “In the event that Uncle Sam called me to go, I have always stood ready to deploy, and am deeply honored to serve our country and state.”

Council Member Petrilla expressed full confidence in his colleagues on the City Council of Rancho Santa Margarita to carry on with city business while he is away. Petrilla will resume his duties as a member of the City Council upon his return.

Jesse Petrilla was elected to a four year term in November, 2010, as the top vote getter to the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council. Rancho Santa Margarita is a South Orange County, CA city with a population of approximately 50,000 people.

News and updates from Councilman Petrilla will continue to be posted regularly from Afghanistan at http://www.JoinJesse.com

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