Aug 29 2017

Piedmont’s Next Mayor ?

Councilmembers will decide who Piedmont’s next mayor will be.

Councilmembers are elected to serve 4 year terms, unless they assume an unexpired seat on the Council. In Piedmont, there is a Council election every 2 years; one election chooses two individuals and the alternate election chooses three individuals. Piedmont’s next General Election will be in November 2018.

The Piedmont City Council elects the mayor from one of its members.  The mayoral selection usually follows a general election, unless there is an intervening vacancy as currently exists.  To become the Mayor of Piedmont requires the affirmative vote of three Council members.

The Mayor serves at the pleasure of the Council for a two year term, that is unless the Mayor position is vacated, as with the resignation of Jeff Wieler.

In recent decades, the mayoral selection has traditionally been based on the number of years served in relation to the top vote-getter for that election cycle. Typically, there is harmony in the selection process; however, this has not always been the case.

There have been mayor and vice mayor selections that were not unanimous.  In other instances, a Councilmember has been jumped over to choose a less tenured Councilmember, or one who did not receive the most votes in a cycle.

The Mayor is one of the Councilmembers and has only the powers provided by City Charter or by those given by the Council. 

It seems all Council members want to be the Mayor, even though the position is not administrative, the mayor acts in approving agendas, running Council meeting as any chair would, representing the City in various situations, and being an ambassador for Piedmont.  There are a few exceptions to these responsibilities.

City Charter states:

SECTION 2.08 MAYOR Following each general municipal election, the City Council shall elect from among its member officers of the City who shall have the titles of Mayor and Vice-Mayor, each of whom shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the Council, shall be recognized as head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes and by the Governor for the purposes of military law, but shall have no administrative duties. The Vice-Mayor shall act as mayor during the absence or disability of the Mayor. In case of the temporary absence or disability of both the Mayor and Vice-Mayor, the Council shall select one of its members to serve as Mayor Pro Tempore.

The selection of the mayor is a political process amongst the Councilmembers, who must adhere to the Brown Act during the consideration process, meaning a majority of the Council members can not meet outside of the public process to discuss their selection.

A vacancy currently exists in the position of Mayor.

Since the City Charter calls for a Mayor and a Vice Mayor, there is only an “acting mayor” when the Council elected mayor is “absent or disabled.”  The mayor is not now absent or disabled; the position is vacant. A vacancy is also described in the Charter, as when someone resigns, the current instance of Jeff Wieler’s resignation.

The Piedmont City Charter states:

(A) VACANCIES. The office of a Councilmember shall become vacant upon his/her death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of office.

No firm date has been set for Council consideration of a new mayor.

Councilmember Tim Rood has announced his request that the election of a mayor be scheduled on the September 5 Council meeting agenda.

Currently, Vice Mayor Bob McBain, the most tenured Councilmember other than Wieler, has assumed the responsibilities of the mayor.  The Council must make a decision on either choosing McBain or another Councilmember to become the next Mayor of Piedmont. If McBain is chosen as mayor, then another Councilmember will need to be chosen as Vice Mayor to replace McBain.

Councilmember contact information:

Robert McBain, Acting Mayor (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jeff Wieler (510) 428-1648 2nd Term Exp. 11/18

One Response to “Piedmont’s Next Mayor ?”

  1. The Council agenda for 9/5 will be posted on Friday, and I fully anticipate that it will include the election of a mayor and vice mayor to serve until after the November 2018 election.

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