New El Segundo City Council Members Sworn In, Council Voted for Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

Suzanne Fuentes to Continue as Mayor and Drew Boyles to Serve as Mayor Pro Temp for Next Two Years

By Michael D. Robbins

The May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council meeting began with a proclamation, a commendation, and a presentation recognizing the Election poll workers for their valuable services rendered to the City of El Segundo during its April 12, 2016 General Municipal Election.

Next was a roll call, followed by public communications. Former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins spoke, thanking Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson for his decades of service to the City and citizens of El Segundo, congratulating the newly elected City Council members, and opposing agenda item L-8 to change the traditional method of electing the mayor and mayor pro tem and their terms. That agenda item, requested by Councilman Mike Dugan and Councilwoman Carol Pirsztuk, would change to a rotating mayor and mayor pro tem selected by the City Council with only one-year terms.

The old City Council then conducted a minimal amount of City business, including approving the minutes from the April 19, 2016 City Council meeting. They adopted a City Council Resolution certifying the final election results, declaring the winning candidates, and declaring that Measure B, the 50 percent increase in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), was passed.

Then the traditional American peaceful transition of power took place. Outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson and City Council Members Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson said their goodbyes, received gifts and recognition certificates, and stepped down from the dais in the City Council Chamber. Marie Fellhauer showed off her very young adopted baby again. And a video was shown on the big screen on the Council Chamber wall recognizing Carl Jacobson’s decades of service as the city’s mayor, mayor pro tem, council member, and in other capacities.

Deputy City Clerk Mona Shilling administered the oath of office to reelected City Clerk Tracy Weaver. She ran unopposed and easily won reelection. City Clerk Weaver then administered the oath of office to reelected City Treasurer Crista Binder who also ran unopposed and easily won reelection. City Clerk Weaver then administered the oath of office to newly elected City Council Members Drew Boyles, Carol Pirsztuk, and Don Brann, who then took their seats on the dais where each gave a brief speech.

Then it was time for the new City Council to choose the new mayor and mayor pro tem from among the Council members. I suspected there were two but not the necessary three votes (out of five) to choose Suzanne Fuentes for her second two-year term as mayor. I also suspected that three or four members of the new City Council, including Suzanne Fuentes, Mike Dugan, Carol Pirsztuk, and possibly Drew Boyles, wanted to be mayor and there might not be three votes for any of them. I was curious to see what would happen.

Councilman Don Brann started the process by quickly nominating Suzanne Fuentes for mayor. Fuentes just served a two-year term as mayor. Councilwoman Carol Pirsztuk nominated Councilman Mike Dugan. There was a vote for Fuentes, which failed with only two out of five votes, with Brann and Fuentes voting yes. Then there was a vote for Dugan, which also failed with only two out of five votes, with Pirsztuk and Dugan voting yes.

The Assistant City Attorney, who attended the meeting because City Attorney Mark Hensley could not attend, suggested that Suzanne Fuentes remain as mayor since there was no change of mayor as a result of the insufficient votes to choose a new mayor. There was a Council consensus to accept his recommendation and keep Fuentes as mayor.

Mayor Fuentes then nominated Councilman Don Brann for mayor pro tem. There was also a nomination for Councilman Drew Boyles for mayor pro tem. The vote for Brann failed with only two out of five votes, with Fuentes and Brann voting yes. Then there was a vote for Boyles, which passed.

Next, the City Council discussed agenda item L-8, requested by Mike Dugan and Carol Pirsztuk, to change to a rotating mayor and mayor pro tem with one-year terms from the traditional mayor and mayor pro tem selected by a vote of the new City Council after each city election, with two-year terms.

The Assistant City Attorney stated that the City Council could adopt an ordinance to implement that change if it so desired. He said the City Council could direct that an ordinance be drafted, that the item be studied further and brought back to City Council at a later date, or that it be tabled.

There was some discussion. Mayor Fuentes opposed the change. Mayor Pro Tem Boyles stated he originally thought it was a good idea, but after additional research, he is no longer sure and it would require further study. Don Brann had nothing to say on the agenda item.

Mike Dugan moved and Carol Pirsztuk seconded to direct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to implement the proposed change and come back to City Council with it. The motion failed 2 to 3, with Dugan and Pirsztuk voting yes, and Fuentes, Boyles, and Brann voting no. The item was tabled.

Thus, for the next two years, the City of El Segundo’s mayor is Suzanne Fuentes and its mayor pro tem is Drew Boyles.

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