With little fanfare and no horse-trading, the majority of the Spokane Valley City Council chose businessman Dean Grafos as its new mayor Tuesday night.
Grafos was nominated by new Council Member Ed Pace and was supported by fellow councilmen Arne Woodard, Ed Pace, Rod Higgins and Grafos himself. The other nominee, Council Member Chuck Hafner, received votes from himself along with Ben Wick and Bill Bates.
Under the Spokane Valley’s council-manager form of government, the legislative authority resides in the council, which chooses a mayor among its membership every two years. The mayor is recognized as the head of the city for ceremonial purposes and running council meetings, but it is the city manager who implements policy and oversees city staff.
Previous Mayor Tom Towey did not run for re-election and would had to have been nominated again to continue in that position.
Grafos becomes the city’s fifth mayor and was elected in 2009 under the Positive Change political movement that was largely concerned with upending the controversial Sprague Avenue Revitalization Plan.
“I’m honored to serve as mayor,” Grafos said Tuesday. “I’ll do my best to make this city the best around…I look forward to working with everyone the next two years.”
Next came the business of choosing a deputy mayor, who serves in the absence of the mayor. Higgins nominated Woodard, while Wick nominated himself. Woodard was supported by Higgins, Hafner, Grafos and Pace, while Bates voted for Wick.
Other city mayors since Spokane Valley incorporated in 2003 have been Mike DeVleming, Diana Wilhite and the late Richard Munson.