Port Angeles City Council majority cites change in picking new mayor

PORT ANGELES — The same divisions that produced Tuesday night’s 4-3 City Council vote electing Gary Braun as mayor for 2008-09 seemed to linger in council members’ comments the next day.

“I have nothing against what [Karen Rogers] has done has mayor. I think the people have said they wanted change,” new Councilman Don Perry said on Wednesday.

Perry was among non-incumbent candidates who included Dan Di Guilio and Cherie Kidd, whose November 2007 elections was widely attributed to a desire for change in the city and the council.

In Tuesday’s vote by the seven-member City Council, Perry, Di Guilio and Kidd voted for Braun — who voted for himself — while Councilwoman Betsy Wharton and Councilman Larry Williams voted for Rogers, who voted for herself.

“I really think people expected change and that’s what they expected and what we ran on. So that’s what we are going to give them,” Perry said.

While the mayor’s job is largely ceremonial — City Manager Mark Madsen runs City Hall operations — the mayor chairs the council meetings and plays a large role in shaping the council’s agenda.

On the day after Tuesday night’s vote, Kidd said she was looking forward to working with Rogers on the council.

“I appreciate Karen’s service to city and her talents. I look forward to tapping into those talents as we go forward,” she said.

“She’s going to be very busy as Association of Washington Cities president — that’s a job in itself. I’m very proud that member of our council is that position,” Kidd said.

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