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.