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Mayor Resigned. How to accept nominations for a replacement?


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First off, this forum is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Thank you all.

So, our Mayor resigned and we're in a position now to select a new Mayor from the remaining members on the Council.  We are rotating the chairmanship of our regular Council meetings.  It's my turn this evening. 

So - there are two members who wish to stand for Mayor.  As the chair of the meeting how do I handle nominations?  Do I ask for nominations from the body (e.g. anyone wishing to stand for Mayor may nominate themselves)?

Thanks so much in advance.

Not for nothing, I suspect I'm wrong but here is how I was thinking of handling it:

  1.  Call meeting to Order and handle routine business.
  2.  When we get to the "Mayor" agenda item I would say, "We are in a position where we need to select a new Mayor.  Is there any member present who wishes to be considered?"  Go around the table (two will raise their hands).  
  3.  As a courtesy give each member the floor to explain why they think they should be Mayor.
  4.  The chair will now entertain motions for nominations to be interim mayor.
  5.  Accept any motions that come and are seconded. Discuss as normal.  Call for a vote.  (If candidate fails to get a majority, repeat #4 and #5). 

 

 

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In the world of RONR, at the appropriate time in the order of business the presiding officer would open the floor to nominations (which are debatable by any member of council) and when there are no further nominations, the council votes.

What you absolutely must do is consult with the council's attorney regarding any applicable adopted procedural rules the council has adopted and any applicable procedural rules in statute that may apply, as those take precedence over the rules in RONR.

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@George Mervosh When you say, "The Council votes...."  What does that look like?  Would I (as the chair) say, something like, "We have two nominations, Mr X and Mr Y.  I will bring each to the floor for a vote.  Who is in favor of Mr. X? "  Assuming he doesn't get a majority, I move on to Mr. Y., right? 

If the first vote gets a majority, am I obligated to bring the second nomination up for a vote? 

 

 

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Guest Puzzling
45 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

In the world of RONR, at the appropriate time in the order of business the presiding officer would open the floor to nominations (which are debatable by any member of council) and when there are no further nominations, the council votes.

What you absolutely must do is consult with the council's attorney regarding any applicable adopted procedural rules the council has adopted and any applicable procedural rules in statute that may apply, as those take precedence over the rules in RONR.

Elections do need previous notice, I am not sure if that was given

...

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You only need one nomination period, as Mr. Mervosh pointed out.  Members are free to nominate others (somewhat preferable), or to nominate themselves (i.e. volunteer).  Before closing nominations, any statements or debate are in order.

Voting occurs when no further nominations are made.

I'm confused by the term "interim mayor'.  Once the election is completed and you have a new mayor (potentially on the firstballot), I think you're done.  Mr. Mervosh's advice on consulting you counsel is apt.  I wonder about voting procedures that might be mandated: voice vote, ballot vote, signed ballot vote, or whatever.

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48 minutes ago, Guest Puzzling said:

Elections do need previous notice, I am not sure if that was given

Lots of things need notice in a city council.  Their attorney can advise them.

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2 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

I'm confused by the term "interim mayor'.  Once the election is completed and you have a new mayor (potentially on the firstballot), I think you're done.  Mr. Mervosh's advice on consulting you counsel is apt.  I wonder about voting procedures that might be mandated: voice vote, ballot vote, signed ballot vote, or whatever.

I expect the situation is that the Mayor is elected by the residents of the city, and the city's ordinances provide for the City Council to elect an "interim mayor" in the event of a vacancy, who serves until a public election can be held for Mayor. This is a fairly common arrangement.

Edited by Josh Martin
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19 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

I expect the situation is that the Mayor is elected by the residents of the city, and the city's ordinances provide for the City Council to elect an "interim mayor" in the event of a vacancy, who serves until a public election can be held for Mayor. This is a fairly common arrangement.

I agree. That is my understanding of the situation and I agree that it is a very common method of filling a vacancy in local elected offices.

To @OneBookToRuleThemAll, now that  the meeting has probably taken place, how did it go? Do you have a new interim mayor?

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41 minutes ago, J. J. said:

It maybe a publicly elected position, but in some states, the mayor is chosen by the city/town council.

I agree that might be the case in some places, but the OP, who is on the city council and will chair the meeting in question, made it plain that they are selecting an interim mayor.  I'm surprised that Mr. Novosielski is unfamiliar with the term or confused by it.  

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12 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I agree that might be the case in some places, but the OP, who is on the city council and will chair the meeting in question, made it plain that they are selecting an interim mayor.  I'm surprised that Mr. Novosielski is unfamiliar with the term or confused by it.  

There may be fixed elections within the council, e.g. the position of mayor is elected by council for a term of two  years. 

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Looks like the meeting was last night, so this isn't timely enough to have helped you yesterday.  But if you're in this situation again, here's a generic script.

The next order of business is election of a mayor.  The floor is open for nominations, and as a reminder, you may nominate yourself. (recognize members to make nominations)  Are there any further nominations?  (pause in case you missed someone) Seeing no further nominations, nominations are now closed, and we'll proceed to a vote on election of a mayor.  The nominated candidates are (list them).  All those voting for Candidate A please raise your hands.  (count)  All those voting for Candidate B please raise your hands.  (count - repeat as needed until you get through all nominated candidates)  The vote totals are 3 votes for Candidate A and 2 votes for Candidate B.  Candidate A received a majority vote and has been elected as mayor.

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4 hours ago, Alicia Percell said:

Looks like the meeting was last night, so this isn't timely enough to have helped you yesterday.  But if you're in this situation again, here's a generic script.

The next order of business is election of a mayor.  The floor is open for nominations, and as a reminder, you may nominate yourself. (recognize members to make nominations)  Are there any further nominations?  (pause in case you missed someone) Seeing no further nominations, nominations are now closed, and we'll proceed to a vote on election of a mayor.  The nominated candidates are (list them).  All those voting for Candidate A please raise your hands.  (count)  All those voting for Candidate B please raise your hands.  (count - repeat as needed until you get through all nominated candidates)  The vote totals are 3 votes for Candidate A and 2 votes for Candidate B.  Candidate A received a majority vote and has been elected as mayor.

But as far as the rules in RONR are concerned, if candidate A receives a majority of the votes cast the chair should declare that A has been elected, and no vote should be taken on candidate B.  RONR, 12th ed., 46:38

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Re:  "But as far as the rules in RONR are concerned, if candidate A receives a majority of the votes cast the chair should declare that A has been elected, and no vote should be taken on candidate B.  RONR, 12th ed., 46:38"

That's a good point, presuming that there are only 5 members in attendance, such that 3 would be a majority regardless of how the other two voted.  If there had been, say, 7 members, and 2 chose to abstain, then Candidate A's 3 votes wouldn't have been enough information to have declared it a majority just yet.  They'd have to go through all the candidates before they knew conclusively that the other 2 members were abstaining and thus 3 was a majority of those present and voting.

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On 5/4/2021 at 1:18 PM, Richard Brown said:

I agree that might be the case in some places, but the OP, who is on the city council and will chair the meeting in question, made it plain that they are selecting an interim mayor.  I'm surprised that Mr. Novosielski is unfamiliar with the term or confused by it.  

I'm quite familiar with the term, but confused by the inconsistent use.  The sequence of events seemed to suggest that after selecting a mayor, they then proceed to elect an interim mayor.  

But I appreciate the concern.

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18 minutes ago, Alicia Percell said:

Re:  "But as far as the rules in RONR are concerned, if candidate A receives a majority of the votes cast the chair should declare that A has been elected, and no vote should be taken on candidate B.  RONR, 12th ed., 46:38"

That's a good point, presuming that there are only 5 members in attendance, such that 3 would be a majority regardless of how the other two voted.  If there had been, say, 7 members, and 2 chose to abstain, then Candidate A's 3 votes wouldn't have been enough information to have declared it a majority just yet.  They'd have to go through all the candidates before they knew conclusively that the other 2 members were abstaining and thus 3 was a majority of those present and voting.

I'm afraid you have the procedure for conducting a viva-voce election all mixed up. Perhaps a more careful reading of 46:38-39 will help.

 

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