At its Nov. 21, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council elected Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) as mayor pro tem. According to the city charter, the council must elect from its members a mayor pro tem “at its first meeting after the newly elected members have taken office following each regular city election…” That meeting was Nov. 21, which was the first meeting after Nov. 14, when councilmembers who won their elections on Nov. 8 took office.
Chris Easthope finished his service on the Ann Arbor city council as mayor pro tem. After Easthope left the council in 2008, Higgins has been elected mayor pro tem each year.
The mayor pro tem acts as mayor when the elected mayor is unable to do so. When acting as the mayor, the mayor pro tem enjoys all duties and responsibilities of mayor except that of the power of veto. With respect to other duties and responsibilities of the mayor as compared with other councilmembers, they consist largely of serving as emergency manager, making nominations to boards and commissions, presiding over meetings, and fulfilling a ceremonial function.
The mayor pro tem’s salary is the same as other councilmembers. Although the local officers compensation commission recommended in 2007 that the mayor pro tem be given additional compensation, the city council that year rejected that part of the commission’s recommendation.
Also at the meeting, the council determined the order of succession to the mayor. After the mayor pro tem, the seniority-based order is: Margie Teall (Ward 4), Mike Anglin (Ward 5), Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Tony Derezinski (Ward 2), Carsten Hohnke (Ward 5), Sandi Smith (Ward 1), Christopher Taylor (Ward 3), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) and Jane Lumm (Ward 2).
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]