Bainbridge Island Councilman Steve Bonkowski was unanimously approved as the council's next mayor at the council's Sunday retreat.
The retreat on Jan. 6 had barely gotten underway before the first order of business was addressed: selecting a new mayor. After a brief discussion, Bonkowski was targeted as a likely candidate and got the nod from his fellow council members for the ceremonial position.
Bonkowksi will not officially be the mayor until the council votes on the matter at its next meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9. Current Mayor Debbi Lester, however, didn't waste any time handing over the honor and Bonkowski led the proceedings of the retreat for the rest of the day.
The issue of mayor pro tem was also addressed. Aside from who would take on the role, the length of time that a pro tem mayor would serve was brought up. The usual two-month term was deemed too short. A four-month term was agreed upon.
Councilman David Ward was approved as the next mayor pro tem for a term of four months.
Under the city manager-council form of government, city council members vote for a mayor to represent the city and lead council meetings. The mayor does not supervise or direct city staff. Instead, the day-to-day management of city government is handled by the city manager, who answers to the city council.