The City Council at its annual organizational meeting elected Councilman Ronald Bates as its new mayor and Councilman Anthony R. Selvaggi as mayor pro tem.
Selvaggi, 67, a councilman since April, 1982, was undergoing emergency gallbladder surgery when his fellow council members made the selection Monday. He is expected to remain hospitalized through the end of the week, his wife, Marjorie, said Tuesday.
Doctors had hoped to postpone the operation because Selvaggi underwent carotid artery surgery in February, she said. He has been taking pain relievers to fight the gallbladder discomfort, but the pain grew so severe Sunday that the surgery was ordered Monday, she said.
It went smoothly, and Selvaggi is recovering at Los Alamitos Medical Center, she said.
He is expected to attend the next council meeting, on Nov. 25.
Each year council members elect among themselves a mayor and mayor pro tem for one-year terms. Bates, 45, having served the past year as mayor pro tem, was considered the most likely candidate to become the council's new ceremonial chief. He succeeds Alice Jempsa.
Bates was elected to the council in 1988. Last month, he was elected to the board of directors of the League of California Cities, after serving last year as president of the county division.
He owns the Staff Development Institute, a consulting firm for public agencies. His main project for the past three years has been as a special projects consultant for Anaheim, helping that city's officials coordinate the Anaheim Arena project.
Bates said his most important task during the coming year will be to shore up the budget. Los Alamitos' financial picture has been marred recently by the recession and the state's budget crisis. The city has slashed its budget by 14% in the last two years.