Catherine Carlton will serve as mayor of Menlo Park for the next 12 months, with Rich Cline as vice mayor.
The council followed its traditional policy on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in selecting Ms. Carlton. The guidelines state that the title of mayor rotates among council members who have served at least one year, with priority going to whoever has had the most amount of time go by since last holding the position. Both she and Mr. Cline were the only names put forth by their colleagues on the dais.
The new mayor urged the community to not let divisiveness prevent Menlo Park from moving forward. "Our residents have gone through a really difficult and emotionally charged election," she said, noting the patchwork of signs during the election that showed neighbors choosing opposite sides in the debate over Measure M, the specific plan initiative.
"We're united by so much more than what divides us," Ms. Carlton said.
Ray Mueller, calling into the meeting from Brazil, expressed gratitude for a proclamation presented to him on behalf of the city that cataloged a wide range of accomplishments during his year as mayor.
"I didn't do those things; we did those things as a team," he said.
The evening also saw the swearing in of the three re-elected council members: Rich Cline, Kirsten Keith and Peter Ohtaki. All thanked their families for their support and said they looked forward to another four years on the dais.