City Council President David Maack sent out an email to the City Council Thursday asking for their support if they have to appoint an interim mayor for the city.
It's a significant move because the city has three options to replace Mayor Gary Becker if (when) he resigns or is removed from office. The options are:
1. Hold a special election. This could be any day, but would requires a certain amount of time for candidates to file and campaign.
2. The City Council could appoint an interim mayor to fill out the rest of Becker's term, which runs through 2011.
3. An election could be held next April.
In Maack's letter, he says he will not run for election as mayor, but asks for their support to be interim mayor. What's interesting about that move is Maack fell into this position. The City Council president is elected every year and typically rotated among council members. Maack really has no more claim to the interim mayor position than anyone else on council, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
That said, Maack would make a fine interim mayor. He's a good man, solid on city business and certainly wired into the community (his day job is emergency management coordinator for Racine County). But it will be interesting to see if there is more posturing on the council for the position. For example, someone like Tom Friedl may be a good fit because he knows city government inside and out.
Here's Maack's email to the council, sent Jan. 15:
Over the past 24 hours, I have had many people ask me to run for mayor.
Like all of you, I was shocked and stunned by the news that we received. Although there has not been an official vacancy, there has been much speculation over who will be running for that position.
While I am humbled by the calls of support that I have received, I will not be running for mayor at this time, but instead, I will be focusing my attention towards working with both the City Council and City Hall staff
to lead the City of Racine through this difficult time. Our city needs
strong, stable leadership and that is more important to me at this point than running for mayor.
If it becomes necessary to appoint an interim mayor, I would request your support for my appointment to that position. You have my assurance that I will not run for election to complete the current mayoral term.
If you have any questions, you may contact me at any time.
David L. Maack, CEM, CPM
City Council President
5th District Alderman, City of Racine, WI