In an unusual move, Mayor Bruce Botelho made no nomination before the Juneau Assembly elected Jim Powell deputy mayor on Wednesday. The Assembly also restructured some committees as it reorganizes under a new administration.
Traditionally the mayor nominates a person and the Assembly is pressured to go along with that pick, Botelho said after the meeting.
But Botelho told the Assembly that Powell and Randy Wanamaker were interested in the job and left it to the members to decide by secret ballot.
Wanamaker, who has been on the Assembly for two years, read prepared remarks before the vote in an attempt to win support.
Powell, who is Finance Committee chairman, is in China and was unavailable for comment.
The deputy mayor serves in the absence of the mayor and chairs the Committee of the Whole. That person is paid the same $6,000 annual salary as other Assembly members.
In other business, Botelho suggested creating a new Waterfront Development Committee, but the majority of Assembly members said waterfront issues should be merged into the Committee of the Whole so all members can vote on decisions.
The Assembly also merged the Planning and Policy Committee into the Committee of the Whole.
The Assembly merged the committees, Botelho said, because the newly formed nonprofit group Collaboration Juneau is charged with working on tourism issues before presenting them to the Assembly.
That allows the Assembly more time to focus on other issues, he said.
Botelho will announce committee chair assignments by Friday.
The Assembly also needs to decide how to structure the seven-member Port Development Committee that sunsetted this past August.
Tara Sidor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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