City Council members are expected to choose a new mayor from among them next week, but ongoing divisions on the panel might leave them unable to come to a decision. Each year, the council--with a majority vote--chooses one member to serve as mayor for the year. The mayor pro tem traditionally fills the post.
But this year’s council, with four members who have split 2 to 2 on several ongoing issues, could remain deadlocked when it considers the appointment Dec. 7. Councilwoman Barbara Kiley, who is mayor pro tem, said she would not try to predict what might happen when the split council tries to choose the city’s new leader. “This is such a divided council,” she said. “I am really looking forward to a fifth member on the council.”
The mayor’s post is mostly ceremonial, but carries some special duties. The mayor serves as the council representative by signing legal documents, and has the authority to call a special meeting with only 24-hours’ notice. When dealing with city issues, the mayor’s vote is equal to all other council members’ decisions.