Jim Cooper will serve as Mayor of Elk Grove in 2012, city council members decided Wednesday.
The Sacramento County sheriff’s department captain, who held the post of vice mayor in 2011, will be the last mayor to be appointed by the council before Elk Grovians begin direct elections for the office next November.
Council members have traditionally rotated one of their number—usually the current vice mayor—into the mayoral slot each year.
“I’m very humbled my fellow council members voted me back in,” said Cooper, who was mayor immediately after the city incorporated in 2000 and again in 2007.
Council members chose Cooper by a 3-2 vote for the ceremonial position, which wields few official powers but controls the dais during council debates. Council members Patrick Hume and Sophia Scherman voted no.
“We have an unwritten policy that if someone is running for office we would not put them in as mayor, so as not to politicize the mayor’s seat,” Hume said in explanation of his no vote.
Following that rule would have left Hume himself as the only mayoral option. Councilmember Gary Davis has already jumped into next year’s mayoral race, Scherman is running for Assembly and both Cooper and Councilmember Steve Detrick are defending their council seats.
But council members opted for Cooper instead, appointing Hume vice mayor on a 4-1 vote with Cooper dissenting.
The council also brushed aside a suggestion from Detrick, the city’s 2011 mayor, that he continue in the post.
Detrick, a sports aficionado, said he raised the idea because he wanted to continue what he saw as the current leadership team’s winning streak. He cited the council’s “chemistry” and lack of public infighting during his tenure.
“I look at a lot of things as a coach,” he said. “I feel when something’s going well, you keep it going.”
The new positions took effect immediately after Wednesday night’s vote.