Mayoral Rotation at Next Council Meeting

Goran Eriksson Expected to Take Over Reins

The Culver City Council will select a new mayor Monday night without the acrimony of last year's annual rotation.

Vice Mayor Goran Eriksson will most likely take over the mayoral reins as current Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells announced at a recent council meeting that she would support him for that ceremonial post. Councilmember Alex Fisch is the longest serving councilmember who hasn't served in either position and is expected to be elected vice mayor.

Prior councils had loosely followed the rotation policy that was thrown aside a couple of years ago in one of the "worst kept secrets in Culver City." Political observers knew that Sahli-Wells, who had already served a term as mayor, would be nominated and elected to the position by four of the councilmembers.

Two years ago, then Mayor Thomas Small nominated Sahli-Wells, effectively putting her in line to serve as mayor the following year, her last year in office

Traditionally, City Councils have always voted to make sure everyone on their panel became mayor before anyone else got a second term. Most of those votes were unanimous, even between political opponents, according to long-time city observers.

Councilmember Alex Fisch did a thorough analysis showing that a large percentage of the time the old rotation policy was not followed.

However, the recently-approved new policy is ambiguous at best. It states the mayor and vice mayor serve at the pleasure of the council and they must wait one year until they can serve again.

With the city elections shifted to coincide with the general election in November, Eriksson, -- if chosen to helm the Council -- will serve a six-month term in the mayor's seat. Should he be reelected to a second term, he would be ineligible to continue in that role due to the new council policy. By the way, the election of Mayor and Vice-Mayor is usually held at the beginning of the meeting. This year, it was moved to the end of the agenda.

The mayoral post is largely ceremonial as the mayor and vice mayor are elected by members of the city council and each councilmember has one vote and an equal voice on the panel.


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