Local News in Brief : Huntington Beach : City Council Selects Bannister as New Mayor

Insurance company owner Wes Bannister has been elected mayor by the City Council and vowed Wednesday to concentrate on teamwork and an open-door policy of government during his yearlong term.

Bannister, 52, said he will have office hours at City Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Thursday for half-hour appointments with the public or city workers.

Bannister had not been considered a candidate for mayor until recently. Until a few weeks ago, several council members said, they had assumed Vice Mayor Tom Mays was heir to the largely ceremonial office.

Outgoing Mayor John Erskine approached Bannister and asked him if he would be interested in the position, Erskine and Bannister said. Bannister said he felt that Mays, who works "8 to 5" as a financial planner at McDonnell Douglas, would not be able to devote the necessary time to city affairs, whereas Bannister works for himself.

Monday night, Mays was not nominated for mayor, although he was reelected vice mayor.

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