The Santa Monica City Council postponed a vote to select an acting mayor from ranks of serving councilmembers until the May 25 meeting following a failed attempt at its May 11 meeting.
Councilmember Bobby Shriver and Mayor Pro Tem Pam O’Connor were both nominated for the position and each received three votes. Councilmember Terry O’Day, the council’s most recent addition who was selected to fill former Mayor Ken Genser’s vacancy after his death, abstained from voting which left the two mayoral nomination tied with no majority.
Before the vote, O’Day said he would like to delay the decision until the May 25 meeting to allow for public input on the item and because if O’Connor was elected, her role as Mayor Pro Tem would need to be filled as well, but was not on the agenda.
The Council has been without a formal mayor since Genser was hospitalized in October 2009, with O’Connor has been acting as de facto mayor ever since. In the months following Genser’s death in January, the council didn’t have a full roster of councilmembers present at any meetings to make the vote, which is why the issue hasn’t been resolved until May.
Whoever is selected will serve only until this November’s election when five of seven council seats will be contested. Also in that election, appointed councilmembers Terry O’Day (who filled Genser’s vacancy) and Gleam Davis (who filled former-Mayor Herb Katz’s vacancy following his death in 2009) will try to be formally elected.
With the decision delayed, O’Connor will continue to act as head of the council. “I’ll do it for two more weeks,” she said. “We’ll see how much longer this goes.”
O’Day said he is unsure who he plans to vote for and will need to talk to both O’Day and Shriver before arriving at a decision.