Note: This story was updated at 3:03 p.m.
Four members of the new Oak Ridge City Council that starts Monday have announced that they would like to be mayor. One would like to also be considered for mayor pro tem.
The seven-member City Council, which has four new members, will appoint a mayor and mayor pro tem during its Monday night meeting. The City Council picks two of its members to serve as mayor and mayor pro tem after each municipal election every two years.
In letters to Council, current member Chuck Hope said he is interested in serving as mayor and so did City Council members-elect Rick Chinn and Warren Gooch.
Former City Council member Ellen Smith, who regained a seat in the November 4 election after an election loss two years ago, said she would like to be considered for mayor or mayor pro tem. Under the City Charter, the mayor pro tem presides at meetings when the mayor is absent or temporarily disabled.
The four new members of City Council are Chinn, Gooch, Smith, and Kelly Callison. Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan did not seek re-election in the November 4 municipal election, and neither did mayor pro tem Jane Miller. Two incumbents, Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby, were not re-elected from among the unusually large field of 10 candidates.
Trina Baughn, a current City Council member who was, like Hope elected in 2012, and Callison, a Council member-elect, said they are not seeking to become either mayor or mayor pro tem.
City Council member Charlie Hensley said he also will not seek to be appointed to either office.
“Since we have four highly qualified candidates for mayor and mayor pro tem, I am not campaigning for either title,” Hensley said. “I am now the longest-serving Council member, enjoy my role, and feel I have earned the respect of the city staff, other members of Council, and the majority of Oak Ridgers. Experience and knowledge of processes now allows me more freedom to reach out to citizens, businesses, and interest groups and to better focus on the critical issues that impact our city. I will certainly support whoever is appointed to our leadership roles and look forward to the new Council’s involvement in our city’s developing renaissance.”
The new City Council members will be sworn in on Monday evening, November 24, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.
Council members serve staggered terms, meaning there were four new members elected this November, and the other three seats will be open in November 2016.
You can read Hope’s letter here.
You can read Chinn’s letter here.
You can read Gooch’s letter here.
You can read Smith’s letter here.