PORT HUENEME : Council Elects Turner to Be New Mayor

Council members played musical chairs at the Port Hueneme City Council meeting Wednesday night as Mayor Toni Young passed the gavel to her successor, Robert Turner, after only one year in office.

The selection of Turner, who was first elected to the council in November 1994, came after the approval of a set of "Norms of Operation" for the city's governing body.

Despite an initial motion by Councilman Jonathan Sharkey, an advocate of the new standards, to make the policy effective after the 1996 general election, the council voted to put the plan into effect immediately.

Turner was chosen on a 3-2 vote, with Young and Sharkey voting for Young to extend her term as mayor. Following the vote, Young moved to change the record to reflect a unanimous vote for Turner.

Councilman Anthony Volante, another first-term council member, was selected as Mayor Pro Tempore, although the name of the position later came under debate, which some council members wanted to rename vice mayor or deputy mayor.

Historically, the mayor's terms had lasted two years, with council reorganizations following on the heels of municipal elections.

The operations guidelines, a set of standards on how the council should conduct itself, will guide council members but will not have the force of law. Recommendations include how the council should interact with staff, ways to handle confidential information and the management of public hearings.

The norms are based on similar written codes from other Ventura County cities. City officials said the idea for a codified policy came up at a meeting of staff and elected officials in March 1994 and was encouraged by a large turnover in the council in the fall of 1994.

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