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Our View: City Council rotation process serves purpose

Posted: December 18, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: December 18, 2011 1:30 a.m.

We were not impressed by the City Council’s recent actions regarding the selection of a new mayor and mayor pro tem.
Notwithstanding, Councilman Frank Ferry’s comments that, “there is no rotation.” In all but a few instances in nearly 30 years of cityhood, normal, predictable rotations have taken place. All-inclusive rotations are the norm, not the exception, in cities chartered in the same way as Santa Clarita.

Mayor and mayor pro tem are largely ceremonial posts among a council of equals that was created primarily for organizational and community purposes to serve the people and not for some singular self-actualization purposes.

As Ferry said, “I did it for me.”

The beauty of the process is that everyone elected by the people to serve on the council rotates the responsibility of acting as mayor and gives constituents an opportunity to see each elected member demonstrate their service to the community. Normal rotations help to protect these ceremonial posts from the theater of egos, hard feelings, vanities or just plain power plays.

Ferry, who was elected last Tuesday as mayor pro tem over Councilman Bob Kellar — who was next in the rotation — claimed his self-nomination came from aspirations stemming from a near-death experience he had after a recent surgery.

While we all can appreciate personal epiphanies that can come from these situations, the councilman’s near-death revelation falls a little short of the “burning bush” incident in that his remarks included no mention of serving the people.

Certainly not all of this is the doing of Ferry.
Councilman Kellar has brought some amount of this on himself by stoking the ire of his colleagues in being on the short side of some noteworthy 4-to-1 votes.

But his votes, and we don’t agree with all of them, do represent a constituency. That is how he got elected and re-elected.

His place in the historic rotation should be an expression of that.

We are happy to see Councilwoman Laurie Ender as the new mayor, and trust that she will do a good job.
There were no winners in  Tuesday’s council actions.


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