Today’s West University Place municipal election is over. And the likely new mayor pro-tem is tonight’s elected city councilmember Kevin Trautner. This is because he was the top vote-getter in an otherwise uncontested West University Place City Council election. And the receiver of the most votes historically receives this honorific title of mayor pro-tem by a vote of the newly-elected mayor and city council.
The mayor pro-tem assumes mayoral duties when the mayor is absent or unavailable. They make sure West University Place is represented at civic and community events.
The four proposed amendments to the city’s constitution, officially called the West University Place City Charter, all passed overwhelmingly.
For background, every six years the city charter requires the city council to appoint a citizen committee to consider revisions to the West University Place City Charter. Ergo the West University Charter Review Commission.
The proposed charter amendment process is designed to be a consensus product, the assortment of citizens that participated in the committee worked together to make non-controversial changes to the body politic that governs what the city council can and can’t do. The city council must approve their placement on the municipal ballot and the final proposed amendments almost always result in ballot proposals that garner broad support on election day.
PROPOSITION A is a city charter amendment to extend the allowable term limits from two consecutive two-year terms of service for the mayor and city councilmembers to three consecutive two-year terms.
This proposed amendment was always considered the most difficult to pass because any relaxation of term limits is generally viewed unfavorably by the voters.
However, this amendment still passed by a vote of 58% to 42%.
PROPOSITION B requires the mayor and city council to replace a vacancy on the city council within 60 days. The current regulation permits the mayor and city council to fill a vacancy but does not require an appointment. Now an appointment is mandatory.
This amendment passed by a vote of 71% to 29%.
PROPOSITION C requires the mayor and city council to elect a mayor pro-tem within 60 days in the event of a vacancy. As a practical matter, the only way a vacancy could occur is if the mayor pro-tem resigned or died. Previously, there was no requirement the mayor pro-tem be replaced.
This amendment passed by a vote of 84% to 16%.
PROPOSITION D was a housekeeping measure to expand the membership of the occasionally appointed West University Charter Review Commission from seven residents to nine residents. The reasoning behind this proposal was that the number of meetings resulted in a floating attendance that was rarely complete and an expansion of membership would result in enough attendees to provide for a robust discussion at each meeting.
This amendment passed by a vote of 73% to 27%.