At a 10:00 am special City Council meeting today, newly elected council members Suzanne Jones, Lisa Morzel, Tim Plass, George Karakehian, and Ken Wilson were sworn in at City Council chambers.
Once the new council was seated, sitting Deputy Mayor Ken Wilson presided over deliberations for new leadership through a nomination and voting process. For Mayor, George Karakehian nominated Suzy Ageton and Macon Cowles nominated Matt Appelbaum. Appelbaum was elected on a 5-4 vote with support from Macon Cowles, Tim Plass, Suzanne Jones, Matt Appelbaum, and Lisa Morzel. For Deputy Mayor, Suzy Ageton nominated George Karakehian and Macon Cowles nominated Lisa Morzel, who won on a 5-4 vote with the same supporters as Appelbaum.
Following the leadership elections, new Mayor Appelbaum made some conciliatory remarks about the great new council and the need to work together following a difficult and contentious process. Suzy Ageton then read a prepared statement claiming that the process has resulted in a loss of trust on the council. She complained that her quest to be mayor was hampered because she did not support the municipalization issues 2B and 2C. She stated, “I am troubled that a single issue could disqualify a strong candidate…. We’ve never had a litmus test for mayor.” Macon Cowles disagreed with the litmus test comment, stating that other issues were also considered in choosing the mayor. Deputy Mayor Lisa Morzel closed the comments by stating that she is proud of the new council. “This community expects us to have a united front,” she said. “We will go forward and we will continue to serve the whole community.”
The first meeting of the new council is at 6 pm tonight (Tuesday 11/15/11).