Councilman Jerry Thorne, who along with Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio, has announced he's a candidate for the mayor's job in the next November's municipal election, suggested rotating the vice mayor's assignment so that no candidate would have a political advantage during the full year. Hosterman is termed out next November after serving eight years as mayor.
In supporting Thorne's recommendation, Hosterman said that the other two on the council, Cindy McGovern and Matt Sullivan, also are eligible to seek the mayor's post so should not have the vice mayor's position on a year-long basis either.
But the plan miffed McGovern, who said the vice mayor appointment should go back to a yearly rotation basis, pointing out that it should be Sullivan's turn to serve.
She said she was appointed to the vice mayor's post only once in the seven years she's been on the council, adding that Hosterman has refused to appoint her again. She said she isn't about to have the honor now for only a quarter of the year.
"I had a lot to give to this community, only to be shut out," McGovern said. "All of these years I was never selected and I don't want to be vice mayor now.
Sullivan agreed, adding that, like McGovern, he's been on the council seven years and only appointed as vice mayor once.
"It's been rotated between Jerry and Cheryl ever since," he said. "Artificially to change the structure because (these) two people announced a year in advance that they're running for mayor is not fair."
"You don't have the guts to make a decision; it shows a lack of leadership," he told Hosterman.
Nevertheless, Hosterman called for a vote, casting hers with Thorne's and Cook-Kallio's for a 3-2 decision to rotate the vice-mayor's post starting Jan. 1. With McGovern opting out, it appears that one of the three council members will serve for two quarters.
Along with Hosterman, both McGovern and Sullivan also will complete their allowable eight years on the council next November.