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Becker named deputy mayor at first full 2012-13 Assembly

Jerry Nankervis also sworn in after absence at last meeting

Posted: October 22, 2012 - 9:37pm  |  Updated: October 23, 2012 - 12:05am
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Assembly member Mary Becker moves to the seat next to Mayor Merrill Sanford after being elected Deputy Mayor during Monday's Assembly meeting.  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Assembly member Mary Becker moves to the seat next to Mayor Merrill Sanford after being elected Deputy Mayor during Monday's Assembly meeting.

Assemblymember Jerry Nankervis was officially sworn in as a member of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Monday night, while first-term Assemblymember Mary Becker was selected as deputy mayor.

Becker was first elected to the Assembly in 2010. She succeeds former Assemblymember David G. Stone in the position, which requires her to stand in for the mayor in leading the Assembly when the mayor is unavailable.

Nankervis took the oath of office at the beginning of Monday’s meeting after missing a special meeting last Monday at which Sanford and new Assemblymember Loren Jones were sworn in (http://bit.ly/PfO0bM). City Attorney John Hartle administered the oath.

“I want to thank you all in advance for your patience with myself, possibly with Mr. Jones, as we learn the ropes here, because I know we will step out of line or do something out of order … somewhere along the line,” said Nankervis during Assembly comments. “And I appreciate that you’ll be patient with us as we get that down.”

Draft committee and liaison assignments were also handed out.

Sanford told the Assemblymembers that they can ask him for changes over the next week if they have serious misgivings, or if their schedules conflict with their liaison duties.

“If, during the week, you have any problems, or don’t like your assignment, you’re more than welcome to come to me and talk to me and I’ll try to change things around,” Sanford said. “But it was hard enough kneading everybody into the positions that we’re in right now and trying to balance our Assembly and our committees as best that we could. So there’s more to it than just your wants and needs — it’s the wants and the needs of our community and our committees as a whole.”

Assuming no changes, the Human Resources Committee, chaired during the previous Assembly by then-Assemblymember Ruth Danner, will be chaired by Assemblymember Jesse Kiehl.

Becker will chair the Committee of the Whole. Stone was the committee’s previous chairman.

Assemblymember Karen Crane will remain chairwoman of the Finance Committee.

Assemblymember Carlton Smith is the new Lands Committee chair, a role formerly filled by Becker.

The Public Works and Facilities Committee will continue under Assemblymember Randy Wanamaker’s chairmanship.

At the meeting, Jones and Nankervis got their first taste of the occasionally tricky business of Assembly debate and motions when Jones objected to a motion by Wanamaker to adopt an ordinance amending the conflict of interest code.

Jones suggested that the code should stipulate different requirements for elected officials than city staff.

“I think the public expects a different standard for elected officials,” Jones argued.

Hartle said any changes to the section of code in question would have to be treated carefully, because any violation thereof is a criminal misdemeanor.

“I just don’t want to do it on the fly tonight for something a little bit complicated,” said Hartle.

But when Jones offered a motion to refer the ordinance to the Committee of the Whole for further discussion before adoption, Nankervis objected.

“I’m prepared to vote on this tonight,” Nankervis said.

Jones’s motion was defeated 5-4, with Sanford voting in favor. Wanamaker’s motion carried unanimously.

There were a few flubs with names at the meeting, a sure sign of change on the Assembly.

City Clerk Laurie Sica called for “Mayor Botelho” during the roll call, referring to former Mayor Bruce Botelho, who served for the past nine years.

While Sanford ribbed Sica for the slip-up, he later called for “Mr. Jones” while asking Smith if he had something to say.

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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