01/05/2016 Council Preview – New Mayor and Vice Mayor

Happy New Year, everyone!

We start the evening with a closed session to discuss ongoing labor negotiations (SEA and PSOA). Then we get to business.  The consent calendar is another big one.  Beyond the usual, we’ve got funding for a comprehensive study of fire response coverage and community risk, to determine what coverage we have and what we may need.  There’s a series of contracts for handling of food waste, a contract for water mixers and quality monitoring, an amendment to the San Miguel open space master plan to reflect four new modular rooms, a contract for the Water Pollution Control Plant, and a couple of ordinance second readings.  There’s an amendment to the Heritage Museum agreement to permit their new solar panels.  And then there’s the 2016 Council meeting calendar.

First item of regular business is selecting a new mayor.  Sunnyvale has a two-year Council-appointed mayoral system, and my current term as mayor ends with this meeting.  Since we switched from odd-year to even-year elections after the 2013 election, we had to adjust all of our election-based schedules by one year.  We’re adjusting the mayoral terms by having a one-year mayoral term in 2016.  After this year, we’ll resume having two-year mayoral terms.  The election of a new mayor follows very specific nominating and voting requirements.  Every councilmember may nominate one and only one candidate, except for the current mayor, who may not nominate unless no other nominations are made.  Councilmembers cannot nominate themselves.  The voting is conducted in one or more rounds, with every councilmember voting for at most one candidate in a round, and voting stops whenever a candidate gets four or more votes.  In the event that no candidate gets at least four votes in a round, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated (with ties for last place broken by a vote) and an additional round is held.  Once a new mayor is elected, he or she is seated in the mayor’s seat immediately and takes over the meeting immediately.

Next up is selecting a new vice mayor.  Sunnyvale has one-year vice mayoral terms.  The voting is conducted in the same way as the mayoral voting.  Unlike the new mayor, the new vice mayor doesn’t change seats.

Note that we do not have the ceremonial swearing-in until our next meeting.  This is done so that the newly-appointed leaders can invite friends and family to attend, while preventing the losing candidates from inviting friends and families attend only to see their councilmember not get appointed.  So we elect them now, they take over now, and the ceremonial stuff (and usual after-party) happens the following week.

Item 4 is our annual public hearing for potential study and budget issues.  We have our annual all-day workshop at the end of the month, and this meeting is pretty much our last opportunity to propose new study issues or budget issues.  The public can certainly express their opinions on study and budget issues up until (and even at) the workshop, but this is the time we set aside for public input.

Item 5 is our annual appointments to intergovernmental committees.

Item 6 is our list of 2016 priority issues and legislative advocacy positions.

Item 7 has us approving the conversion impact report for Nick’s Trailer Court, a 44-unit mobile home park on El Camino.  The park changed ownership in 2014, and the new owner is proposing closing the park, since vacancies now exceed 25%.  This is a bit of an unusual closure, since the property is zoned commercial, and not as a mobile home park.  So some of the rules that normally go with a potential mobile home park closure don’t apply in this case.

And item 8 has us picking our council seats for the next year.

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