2018-01-11 / Front Page

New council split on mayor vote

Withdrawal of one newly-elected member creates four-person council


From left to right, Mike Perilloux, Cathy Rhode, and Kimberly Shiner are sworn in Monday as council members during the organizational meeting of the Manistique City Council. The three were elected during November’s election, 
Pioneer Tribune photo From left to right, Mike Perilloux, Cathy Rhode, and Kimberly Shiner are sworn in Monday as council members during the organizational meeting of the Manistique City Council. The three were elected during November’s election, Pioneer Tribune photo MANISTIQUE – The first meeting of 2018 presented a few hurdles for the members of Manistique City Council Monday. Following the withdrawal of one council member elected in November, the remaining four-person council soon deadlocked on the vote for mayor – leaving the organizational meeting agenda mostly undecided.

In a letter dated Dec. 27, Jacqueline Jenerou, elected to council in November’s election as a write-in candidate, declined her position as a council member, citing new employment that would create a “conflict of interest” with her service. The letter was present during Monday’s meeting, leaving just three newly-elected members to be sworn in.

Those members included: Mike Perilloux, Cathy Rhode, and Kimberly Shiner. While Shiner has served on council since March 2017, Perilloux and Rhode are both new to the endeavor. The three join Councilperson Paul Walker to form a four-member council.

Following the swearing in of the new members, the council was immediately tasked with electing both a mayor and mayor pro-tem. When the floor opened to nominations for mayor, Walker nominated Perilloux for the position, while Rhode nominated Shiner.

Both Walker and Perilloux voted for Perilloux; Rhode and Shiner voted for Shiner – creating a split vote.

City Attorney Bruce Plackowski offered advice on the situation – noting that council members could either take short breaks in groups of two to discuss and possibly unify the vote around one nominee or adjourn until the next council meeting.

“At this point, there’s no clear majority, so those are pretty much your choices,” he explained.

Walker then made a motion that the council draw names for the position of mayor – the motion earned no support and failed. Shiner made a motion to adjourn until the next council meeting and try the vote again. Rhode seconded the motion and it was subsequently passed unanimously.

Due to the failure to select a mayor, the vote for mayor pro-tem was also postponed until the next meeting, which is set for Jan. 22.

During the regular council meeting, immediately following the organizational meeting, council members voted unanimously to accept Jenerou’s withdrawal letter and advertise for letters of interest for the open council seat. Any letters of interest received will be considered during the Jan. 22 meeting. If council agrees on a candidate, a fifth council member may be appointed at that time.

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