Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Council President Elected

Last night the city council elected Brandon Kenig (Ward IV) as the council president.

The election went through various nominations and votes as the personality clashes, evident at many council and committee meetings were obvious.

The council president has two functions:  first to chair council committee meetings and second to assume the mayor's role in the mayor's absence (presiding over a council meeting, standing in at a civic event, etc.).  That also includes becoming mayor should something unfortunate happen to the mayor.

I have some concerns about this choice.  Mr. Kenig appears to be an intelligent young man, but IMHO may lack the experience, at this time, for this position.  He has not even been on the council two years, having been appointed to fill the unexpired council term of Mayor Distler.  As such, he has not even been elected to the council.  An additional concern would be his demeanor.  He is likable but appears to be soft spoken.  Will he be able to wield the gavel when certain council members step out of line?  Will he be able to control certain council members when they attack their peers or members of the public?  Basically, will he be able to keep council committee discussions on track?  Time will tell.

Jeff Vaught (Ward III) was elected council committee vice-chair.  This position requires him to fill in at council committee meetings in the absence of the council president.  The vice-chair is not in the line of succession should something unfortunate happen to the mayor and the council president.