By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Council member and new Mayor Dan Di Guilio was chosen during a 4-3 vote in which council members Sissi Bruch, Di Guilio, Patrick Downie and Dan Gase supported Di Guilio’s nomination.
“I’m honored to have this chance to represent the citizens,” said Di Guilio, who served as mayor immediately before Council member Cherie Kidd, who just served a two-year term.
Kidd and Council member Brad Collins and Lee Whetham supported the former mayor.
Downie was elected unanimously to the deputy mayor position.
The vote to choose between Di Guilio and Kidd came after five separate deadlocked votes, a weighted ballot vote that narrowed the field to two and a final vote on the two top vote-getters.
Throughout the deadlocked votes, Downie, Di Guilio and Gase supported Di Guilio, while Kidd and Whetham supported Kidd. Collins and Bruch voted for Collins.
A council member, once nominated by another, needs four votes to be elected mayor, City Clerk Janessa Hurd explained.
During the weighed ballot, each council member wrote on a signed piece of paper their top three choices for mayor from the three nominees.
Di Guilio and Kidd were the top two vote-getters after the results were tallied. Then the council voted on those two.
Port Angeles has a “weak mayor” system, in which the mayor is chosen from amongst council members for a two-year term to lead meetings and perform other ceremonial duties.
The mayor gets paid $650 per month, according to city code, with the deputy mayor getting $600 and other council members getting $500.
After the meeting, Di Guilio, who is entering his sixth year on the City Council, said he had never seen a mayoral election take that many votes.
“Not in the two to three times I’ve been involved in an election for mayor,” he said.
Gase nominated Di Guilio during Tuesday’s meeting, saying that he thought a change in leadership would be positive.
“[Kidd’s] done a really super job representing the city, but sometimes a change in leadership can be a catalyst for new ideas and creativity,” Gase said after the meeting.
Whetham nominated Kidd, saying he wanted her to continue to be the city’s face to the community.
Collins was nominated by Bruch, who praised Kidd for her work but said she thought Collins would bring something different to the position with his community planning background.
“I just think he would be a good mayor,” Bruch said.
Kidd said Wednesday it was her pleasure to serve as mayor for two years and is excited to work with Di Guilio and the entire council over the coming term.
“There is no disappointment,” Kidd said. “I’m just here to serve.”
Di Guilio said he sees the three nominations for mayor and seven separate votes as a positive thing overall.
“I think it kind of reflects on the willingness of council members to step up and serve the city,” he said.
“I think any one of the candidates would have done a good job.”
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.