The mayor, er, new council member displays her grit | In Our Opinion | May 29

Soon-to-be ex-mayor Darlene Kordonowy is certainly not a person easily discouraged. Despite 69.7 percent of island voters approving the council-manager form of government last week, she has decided to spend the last seven months of her second four-year term as a member of the City Council.

It comes as no surprise when considering her passion for the island and the government she has ruled for the last 7 1/2 years. Plus, there’s no doubt she would like to be involved in some meaningful way as the Winslow Way Improvement Project moves toward its early stages in 2010.

When asked earlier this week, most council members indicated they’d like the mayor to go away once the May 19 vote is certified next Wednesday. Something about wanting to have a fresh start as they work toward establishing the new government. But the state statute regarding the council-manager form says the mayor “shall” become a member of the council if the mayor-council form is abandoned by voters, which means the decision is hers and not the council’s.

When the mayor informed council members of her decision at Wednesday’s meeting, most of them were congenial and said they would welcome her as a new councilor. For the record, they said the adjustment will be minimal since, after all, she is now only one of eight. No longer No. 1.

One of the oddities of having eight council members, however, is that 4-4 means a no vote. Such a deadlock likely will be rare, but it could be meaningful when it happens during consideration of an ordinance or financial issues. Still, the council will just have to work out such wrinkles among themselves during the next seven months.

But the most interesting element of the “new” council is how Kordonowy responds to being one of eight. She has been accustomed to running the show for nearly eight years and now will find herself relegated to nothing more than one vote. Will she resort to working behind the scenes to achieve goals? Hopefully not. Preferably she will work hard to be a diligent team player who holds the city’s interests above all others. That would be the dignified, honorable way to end her eight years in office.

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