I asked (Pacific) councilman Putnum in an email what happens if the mayor is recalled...who runs the city...I also did some of my own research and compared some of what I found with the recall motion and would like to share the following:
As I understand it, and I'm definitely not a lawyer, upon the vacancy of the office of Mayor, the Council would appoint a new temporary Mayor until the next general election.
The office of a mayor or councilmember shall become vacant if the person who is elected or appointed to that position fails to qualify as provided by law, fails to enter upon the duties of that office at the time fixed by law without a justifiable reason, or as provided in RCW 35A.12.060 or 42.12.010. A vacancy in the office of mayor or in the council shall be filled as provided in chapter42.12 RCW. An incumbent councilmember is eligible to be appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of mayor.
Filling nonpartisan vacancies.
A vacancy on an elected nonpartisan governing body of a special purpose district where property ownership is not a qualification to vote, a town, or a city other than a first-class city or a charter code city, shall be filled as follows unless the provisions of law relating to the special district, town, or city provide otherwise:
(1) Where one position is vacant, the remaining members of the governing body shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacant position.
(6) As provided in chapter 29A.24 RCW, each person who is appointed shall serve until a qualified person is elected at the next election at which a member of the governing body normally would be elected. If needed, special filing periods shall be authorized as provided in chapter 29A.24 RCW for qualified persons to file for the vacant office. A primary shall be held to qualify candidates if sufficient time exists to hold a primary and more than two candidates file for the vacant office. Otherwise, a primary shall not be held and the person receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected. The person elected shall take office immediately and serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
If an election for the position that became vacant would otherwise have been held at this general election date, only one election to fill the position shall be held and the person elected to fill the succeeding term for that position shall take office immediately when qualified as defined in RCW 29A.04.133 and shall service both the remainder of the unexpired term and the succeeding term.
Let's Look at the elected City Council:
The other area to be aware of regarding management of the city aside from the mayor seat is what the council actually does in the daily operation of a city (a mayoral/council system). In addition to that appointed position or mayor pro tem, the council is an important cog in city operations. The current Mayor Pro Tem is John Jones, who is recognized by the city of Sumner Interlocal agreement regarding the Valentine road project...an excerpt from an email I received from Sumner's Public Works Director Bill Pugh: "Our point of contacts for the project have been Mayor Pro Tem Jones (email@example.com) and Council Member Steiger (253-735-2144). You should probably contact either of them for more information..."
"We appreciate the opportunity to work with Mayor Pro Tem Jones and Council Member Steiger. They are professional, diligent, accommodating and responsive.
Any elected councilmember could fill the void. The City of Pacific while lacking competence in the Mayor's office; still has has a strong, informed City Council. If it wasn't for them, we would be in even more dire straits if that were possible."
Regarding the elected council's role....please refer to :
Council — Quorum — Rules — Voting.
At all meetings of the council a majority of the council-members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a less number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance. The council shall determine its own rules and order of business, and may establish rules for the conduct of council meetings and the maintenance of order. At the desire of any member, any question shall be voted upon by roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the journal.
The passage of any ordinance, grant or revocation of franchise or license, and any resolution for the payment of money shall require the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the whole membership of the council.
[2009 c 549 § 3012; 1967 ex.s. c 119 § 35A.12.120.]"
The above highlighted statement pretty much sums up quite a lot of city business. Some of the current Mayor's actions and failure to comply with many of these types of legal structure required within the government are listed in the recall complaint with accompanied documented exhibits...another reason for his recall.
The mayors role in city government is to work with the council, different boards, city staff as well as other cities to insure a quality of life for the people who elect him..his boss. This is the democratic intention of this form of government; with checks and balances to insure integrity in operations and fiscal responsibility for the taxpayers(even those that didn't vote). When the checks and balances are deliberately not implemented and people are fired or harassed due to this...the system breaks down and the taxpayer loses; the city ceases to operate in a fiscally sound and effective manner (Pacific's current situation).
With the experience of the current council and the mayor pro tem...I feel confident that the city will be managed better with a recall and will have the impetus to "get the train back on the tracks" to get us moving in a productive and beneficial manner again...truly a win-win scenario. The current mayors deeds and ensuing results speak for themselves...hence the recall.
How can the city of Pacific do worse than the current status quo..common sense says we can't.