PDT Staff Writer
After another duplicate vote episode, Portsmouth City Council decided on Sixth Ward Councilman Steve Sturgill as President of City Council.
Two names, First Ward Councilman Kevin Johnson and Sturgill were placed in nomination. Johnson’s vote was 3-3. Sturgill’s vote was 4-2, which meant that a member of Council voted twice, just as happened when Council chose a replacement for John Haas as Fifth Ward Councilman two weeks ago.
Nominations were re-opened, and Fourth Ward Councilman Jim Kalb nominated Sturgill again. No other names were entered into nomination and Sturgill received all six votes.
“One of the things I hope to bring to Council is making sure the Council people know what’s on the agenda - what’s on my mind. And to make sure there aren’t too many surprises,” Sturgill said. “Over the course of the last year there has been way too many surprises when we come to these meetings. Something is always changing. I don’t think it needs to be that way.”
Sturgill said he looks forward to working with Mayor David Malone, City Auditor Trent Williams and City Solicitor John Haas to try to eliminate so many changes.
“I want to thank my colleagues on Council for having faith in my being able to fulfill this position. I think I can,” Sturgill said. “I think it’s a whole lot more than coming and running the meetings. The President needs to lead the agenda, needs to be interested in what’s going on. I’m not saying the rest of them haven’t. Maybe it has been a time issue, but I really look forward to tackling the challenges.”
Sturgill looked to the coming months with a positive note.
“Tonight we passed a balanced budget,” Sturgill said. “I’m not sure that means we are completely out of the woods financially. I think we still have a lot of things we need to work on. But I think the citizens of this community need to continue to hold us accountable for the things we do here. I look forward to the challenges.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.