At this coming Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the City Council will select the next Deputy Mayor. The Deputy Mayor serves as the head of the legislative branch of the city’s government. Among other things, the Deputy Mayor “serve[s]s as the Chair of the Council Study Sessions, assist[s] in new Councilmember training, work[s] with Administration to prepare agendas for Council Study Sessions,” and “support[s] cooperative and interactive relationships among council members.”
Additionally, the Deputy Mayor is responsible for “[helping to] maintain a positive and cooperative relationship between the Mayor and the City Council, [acting] as [a] conduit between the Mayor and the City Council on issues or concerns relating to their duties and in the event of the a prolonged absence or incapacitation (a state of disability that prohibits the function of duties) of the Mayor…perform the duties of the Mayor.”
The selection process for Deputy Mayor was recently changed after an Ad-Hoc committee was formed to review the Deputy Mayor selection process. The committee, convened in January 2017, consisted of Councilmembers Trout-Manuel and Peloza and was Chaired by Councilmember DaCorsi.
After presenting proposals and recommendations to the City Council at several study sessions, the new methods of Deputy Mayor selection were agreed upon. The rule changes were voted in at the August 7, 2017 meet under Resolution No. 5308. The Resolution passed unanimously.
The changes to the Deputy Mayor selection process, found in the City Council Rules of Procedure, include an automatic nomination to the senior most Councilmember who has not yet served at Deputy Mayor. That automatic nomination will go to CM Peloza this Tuesday. Other Councilmembers can be nominated for the position of Deputy Mayor beyond the automatic senior nomination.
After the toxicity of the most recent Mayoral election, some community members have reservations regarding CM Peloza being Deputy Mayor. It was widely shared that current Deputy Mayor Wales and Mayor Nancy Backus had a strained working relationship, causing question as to the ability for city business to be effectively accomplished. As CM Peloza was DM Wales’ campaign manager, concern has been expressed that the negativity of the Wales campaign will continue should he be Deputy Mayor.
It is expected that a second nomination will be put forth on Tuesday, with several names circulating as a preferred choice over CM Peloza. One source confirms that the support for a second nomination is there, however the determining factor lies entirely on whether that individual would take the position.
One thing is for certain, after Tuesday Largo Wales will no longer be the Deputy Mayor of Auburn.