Menlo Park’s City Council selected Mayor Pro Tempore Kirsten Keith to be mayor in 2012, with Peter Ohtaki as her right hand man, Tuesday night.
“As you will quickly discover madame mayor, every problem in the town is now yours,” joked State Senator Joe Simitian, after she took the gavel from departing mayor Rick Cline.
Much unlike the process was primarily procedural. The uncontested decision was in line with the city’s mayor selection policy, which has only been deviated from three times since 1993, according to City Attorney Bill McClure.
Although some say the policy is vague, it states that council members become eligible for the mayor position after they have served for one year and not as mayor during their tenure.
Kirsten radiated a calm elation as she moderated the remainder of Tuesday night’s council meeting as mayor.
“I’m ready,” she told Patch after the meeting in Council Chambers, a glass of sparkling apple juice in her hand. The celebration took place there instead of at the Gatehouse this year, due to budget cuts.
Cline, who will conclude his second consecutive year as mayor, says he’s looking forward to next year under Keith’s leadership and the time off.
“There’s no rubber stamp in this city,” Cline said. “We honor the debate.”