Councilman Al Litman was unanimously chosen to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Mark Wier, who resigned in April. The vote came at the conclusion of the May 13 City Council meeting.
Litman will serve as mayor until the general election in November of 2016.
City manager Andy Barton told the council that Nevada law requires the council to vote at their next regular council meeting to fill the office of mayor. “The council could appoint any member of the city council or find somebody in the community.”
Councilor Kraig Hafen nominated Litman as mayor, seconded by councilman Rich Green.
Litman told the audience that his appointment “Would have to come on the night of my toughest decision,” referring to the previous vote on the Hafen Park splash pad.
Litman moved to Mesquite in 2004 and has been active in veteran’s issues including helping found the Mesquite Veterans Center and directing the annual Veterans Day Parade. He is a Vietnam Veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal.
Before retiring to Mesquite, Litman taught in public schools in California and was later an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University.
After the appointment of councilor Litman as mayor the council discussed how to fill the now vacant position on the city council. City manager Andy Barton told the council that “They have a couple of options,” regarding the appointment of a new councilor. Barton explained under state law the council could appoint someone from the community or they could hold a special election.
Barton provided the council with a memo recommending the staff be directed to prepare an application process that would allow Mesquite citizens to apply between Wednesday May 14 and Wednesday May 21 at noon.
Councilor George Rapson said he was “Personally against having an election when there are plenty of qualified people, I think it is pointless.”
Geno Withelder responded that he believed that “It is only morally and legally correct that the next vote getter in line fulfill the seat.” Withelder based his comments on his loss by 23 votes in his first run for council, and the subsequent failure of the council to appoint him to a vacancy.
Councilor Green moved to accept the staff recommendation which was approved. Persons interested in serving on the council should pick up a packet from city hall and apply by noon on Wednesday May 21.