LONG BEACH — The City Council has delayed until mid-July its debate on replacing the current ceremonial mayoralty with a $67,500-a-year full-time mayor.
The council was scheduled to debate the issue last week, but decided to wait until two new members--Evan Anderson Braude and Ray Grabinski--are seated on July 15 before considering it, said Mayor Ernie Kell.
The council must decide by Aug. 8 whether it will place the proposal before voters in November. Without discussion Tuesday, it set hearings for July 15, 22 and 29 and for August 5.
The proposal, drafted over three months by a special council-appointed task force, calls for a full-time mayor who would be elected citywide.
Currently, the council every two years selects the mayor from among its own members. Council members are elected by district. The mayor now receives $13,800 a year, compared to $12,600 for the other council members.
Under the task force's plan, the full-time mayor would have one strong, new legislative power: the right to veto council actions. The council, which would still have nine members representing nine districts, could override the veto with a two-thirds vote. The mayor would preside at council meetings but would not vote.
Another task force provision would increase council salaries by $4,275 a year to $16,875.
Members of the council have said the plan appears to be a step in the right direction--toward stronger elected city leadership. But most have said they cannot endorse it in its present form. Braude and Grabinski have said they favor a full-time mayor.