Council gets a lesson on how to elect mayor

Members can nominate one of their own or vote by secret ballot

At a workshop on Tuesday, the Cortez City Council is expected to receive a refresher on how to choose the city’s next mayor. The April 22 decision can be made in one of two ways.

According to City Clerk Linda Smith, the City Council has traditionally called for newly elected council members to nominate one of their colleagues to the mayoral post. If only one nomination is received, votes are cast in open forum; multiple nominations were decided by secret ballot.

The council member who received the most votes was named mayor.

The same process, in the past, has also decided who was chosen to serve as mayor pro tem.

The other option is for council members to vote by secret ballot from the onset, without making any nominations. Both the mayoral and mayoral pro-tem seats would be voted on separately.

Due to a lack of qualifying candidates, the city’s April 8th election was cancelled, and incumbents Shawna McLaughlin and Bob Archibeque, former mayor Orly Lucero and challenger Jim Price, a Marine Corps veteran, were all automatically appointed to serve on the council.

Any of them, along with current councilmembers Karen Sheek, Ty Keel and Tom Butler, could be chosen as mayor and mayor pro-tem after they are sworn into office on April 22.

Completing two four-year terms, current Mayor Dan Porter and Councilman Matt Keefauver will be forced to relinquish their seats due to term limits.

Councilmembers are paid $400 per month.

The agenda for Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting only includes the renewal of two liquor licenses, one at the Conquistador Golf Course and one at La Casita de Cortez. Both items are listed on the consent agenda, indicating both should easily be approved.