As four new members of the Laramie City Council were seated Wednesday night, the new council narrowly voted to appoint Joe Shumway as the city’s mayor for the next two years.
Both the election of mayor and vice mayor required a runoff vote.
In the first vote for mayor, Shumway and previous vice mayor Jayne Pearce each earned four votes, with both voting for themselves.
Council members Charles McKinney, Erin O’Doherty, and Brian Harrington all voted for Pearce, while council-members Paul Weaver, Jessica Stalder and Bryan Shuster voted for Shumway.
On a revote, Harrington changed his vote to Shumway, as did councilman Pat Gabriel — who originally voted for himself.
In the first vote for vice mayor, Shuster received four votes, Gabriel received three and Pearce received two. That led to another runoff vote, with Gabriel earning four seven votes and securing his spot as vice mayor.
Stalder, Harrington, O’Doherty, and Weaver were elected in November, replacing outgoing mayor Andi Summerville, as well as departing council-members David Paulekas, Klaus Hanson and Phoebe Stoner.
As Summerville adjourned the outgoing council’s last meeting, she thanked the service of those also departing the board.
“It’s been a privilege,” she said.
Judy Snoke, a director for the Laramie League of Women Voters, thanked the departing council members for what she called their “excellent service.”
“We’re sorry to see you leave, but we’re excited for the new folks to come in,” she said. “It’s kind of a mixed blessing.”
While Weaver has previously served on council, Wednesday was the first meeting for Stalder, Harrington and O’Doherty.
“It’s been a long lead-up to get up to today, and I’m looking forward to getting to the things we all promised our constituents when we were running,” Harrington said.
Both Stalder and O’Doherty said they look forward to building institutional knowledge.
“I’m impressed learning about how the city works from the city staff, and I hope to be part of a well-oiled machine,” O’Doherty said.
“It’s been a learning experience so far,” Stalder said. “It carries a lot of weight. I hope I can do all the things that I talked about when I campaigned.”