The Denver Post

Picking mayor pro tem takes 78 rounds

- By Jake Shapiro

Westminste­r looked to be on the verge of a recall election for mayor before Mayor Herb Atchison resigned unexpected­ly. After appointing a new mayor last week, city councilors took six hours of voting Monday night into Tuesday morning to decide David DeMott would be the new No. 2 on the City Council.

The six hours were comprised of 78 rounds of voting between six people. Between the rounds, the City Council argued about the process and also hashed out some other local issues.

Liam Adams, a city reporter for the Westminste­r Window, detailed Monday night’s long meeting that extended into Tuesday.

Westminste­r’s new mayor, Anita Seitz — who took the job five days before — teamed with Councilors Kathryn Skulley and Jon Voelz. Taking up the other side was DeMott — who would eventually get the nod as mayor pro tem — and Councilors Rich Seymour and Lindsey Smith.

Atchison, Seitz, Skulley and Voelz were at the center of the recall campaign. The group Westminste­r Water Warriors cited concerns over the councilors’ support for existing water rates, while DeMott, Seymour and Smith have advocated for lowering water rates.

The recall is what led to Atchison’s resignatio­n and Seitz’s

appointmen­t.

After nine rounds of voting, the council began asking questions such as, “Why are we doing this?” and “Who are we voting for?” The vote was supposed to be anonymous, but soon, they revealed which way they were voting.

The mayor pro tem is important because the person steps up when the mayor is absent — essentiall­y becoming a secondary figurehead for the city.

It was more than water rates that the sides fought about. Issues stemmed from the recall campaign itself and cantankero­us relationsh­ips with other local officials.

Westminste­r will still hold a recall election in July for Voelz and a municipal election in November.

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