Port Angeles City Council members gather for a group photo prior to the start of Tuesday night’s council meeting. They are, from left, Mike French, LaTrisha Suggs, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, Mayor Kate Dexter, Charlie McCaughan, Deputy Mayor Navarra Carr and Brendan Meyer. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles City Council members gather for a group photo prior to the start of Tuesday night’s council meeting. They are, from left, Mike French, LaTrisha Suggs, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, Mayor Kate Dexter, Charlie McCaughan, Deputy Mayor Navarra Carr and Brendan Meyer. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Kate Dexter named new mayor

Navarra Carr tapped for deputy mayor

PORT ANGELES — Kate Dexter will serve as Port Angeles mayor for the next two years and Navarra Carr will be the deputy mayor, the new-look City Council agreed Tuesday.

Dexter served as deputy mayor for the past two years. Carr is one of four new council members who were seated on the dais for the first time Tuesday.

“I am humbled, and it will be my honor and privilege to serve as your mayor,” Dexter said after the unanimous council vote.

In the city’s manager-council form of government, the mayor is largely a ceremonial position with limited powers but added time commitments.

He or she is chosen by the council to run City Council meetings, to represent the city at community events and to work with the city manager to prepare meeting agendas.

The seven-member council is the legislative branch of city government. City Manager Nathan West, who reports to the council, is in charge of the executive branch.

Dexter was the only person nominated for the mayor’s position.

“Thank you again for your vote of confidence,” Dexter told her colleagues near the end of the meeting.

“I certainly take the role seriously and am humbled and honored that you all think that I’m the right person for the job. So I will do my best to represent you all, to run an efficient and effective meeting and to make good quotes in the paper.”

Dexter replaces former Mayor Sissi Bruch, who did not seek re-election to the council last year.

“I think that Kate has shown over the last two years as being deputy mayor that she knows how to run a meeting and that she can make tough decisions in very difficult circumstances,” Council member Mike French, who nominated Dexter for the job.

“I am completely convinced that she will be a fantastic leader for our council.”

Dexter, French and Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin are now the most experienced members of the council having each served for two years.

The new council members are Carr, Charlie McCaughan and Brendan Meyer, who were elected in November, and LaTrisha Suggs, who was appointed by the council last month to fill the remaining two years on late council member Jim Moran’s term.

French nominated Carr as deputy mayor. He said it was “perfectly appropriate” for the new majority to have a leadership position.

McCaughan had nominated French for deputy mayor. Meyer nominated himself.

Carr was selected as deputy mayor by 5-2 vote, with McCaughan and Meyer voting no.

The Port Angeles City Council holds regular meetings on the first and third Tuesday of the month.

Meetings are typically held at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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