David H. Murdock is going to make a surprise announcement regarding the Family Park and YMCA facility (aka Regional Sports Park facility). Those YMCA members, sporting team members, and anyone interested in the park project is encouraged and welcome to attend tonight’s City Council meeting which also includes the annual reorganization of the City Council, and election and swearing in of the new Mayor for Westlake Village.

Reception will follow the reorganization meeting and special announcement.

The meeting takes place at 6:30 at the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The meeting is expected to be a shorter meeting than is typical (probably 45 minutes).

How does Westlake Village select its mayor?

One of the more common misconceptions is that the people elect the mayor. In many small towns, including Westlake Village, the residents elect the city council members, and the city council members annually elect the mayor. The mayor position will be voted on tonight at city council meeting.

The city council has 5 members. It’s specifically an odd number so that when there’s a full council vote, there’s a tie breaker.

Of those 5 members, one member is the Mayor Pro Tem. This is currently Sue McSweeney. Another member, is the Mayor. This is currently Ned Davis. The role of the mayor is mostly symbolic, but it’s definitely an honor. Mayor Pro Tem stands in for the mayor when he/she is not available. There are two things the mayor is responsible for that have an impact beyond symbolism. First, they choose which council members serve on each committee. Second, they run the meetings and have influence over the agenda.

The Mayor and the Mayor Pro Tem positions are selected by the city council. Each is a separate vote that requires a simple majority. It’s a bit unclear as to what happens if a majority is not obtained, but the most likely outcome is that those in the current roles would continue beyond their normal one-year terms until the city council reached a majority decision.

Most of the time, the council follows a variety of conventions as to who gets selected as Pro Tem and Mayor. For example, typically, the pro-tem becomes the next mayor, but that has not always been the case (e.g., Jim Henderson was pro-tem, but never mayor as he wasn’t re-elected, and Jim Bruno was not elected mayor). As another example, the conventions for selection ordering are loosely based on number of votes at general election time.

In the end, the conventions are just a set of guidelines … the vote is the real process, and the council members are able to vote in any way they want, including for themselves.