It’s almost New Year’s and that means it’s time to elect new — or possibly old — mayors in the Tri-Cities.
The Kennewick, Pasco and Richland city councils each will elect a mayor from their ranks when they hold their first meeting of 2016.
The three cities employ a council-manager form of government in which the council elects a largely ceremonial mayor while a professional manager oversees day-to-day operations.
West Richland does things a little differently. It has a “strong mayor” form of government, meaning voters select the city’s top official.
The seven-member Kennewick council will elect a mayor to a new two-year term when it meets Jan. 5, said City Manager Marie Mosley.
The city clerk will preside over the election. The reason? Current Mayor Steve Young’s term expires at the end of 2015. Once the council selects a new mayor, that person will step in and oversee a second election to choose a mayor pro tem.
As in Pasco and Richland, Kennewick’s mayor presides over city council meetings and serves as the public face of city government, speaking on its behalf at special events. The mayor has the same vote as any of the other six council members but no special powers.
Young has served as mayor since 2009, making him one of the longest-serving mayors in Kennewick history. Mosley said she hasn’t heard if anyone plans to challenge Young for the post.
In Richland, Mayor David Rose was elected mayor pro tem in 2012 and mayor in 2014. The council meets Jan. 5.
In Pasco, the seven-member council selects a mayor at the start of each year.
Mayor Matt Watkins has held the post since 2010. City spokesman Jon Funfar said he has no reason to believe there will be a contentious fight for the post when the council meets Jan. 4.