The Lakewood City Council unanimously selected Councilman Don Anderson as mayor Tuesday night.
The departure of Mayor Doug Richardson last week to the Pierce County Council left a vacancy in the largely ceremonial seat, and council members had to name a successor. The mayor is not independently elected but selected from among the seven council members.
“It’s an honor, and I look forward to the challenge,” Anderson said Wednesday.
Anderson is the fourth mayor in the city’s nearly 17-year history. In addition to Richardson, Bill Harrison and Claudia Thomas have served in the post.
Under Lakewood’s system of government, the council appoints a city manager to run day-to-day operations of City Hall. The mayor serves as the ceremonial head of the city and presides at council meetings.
Also Tuesday, the council chose Councilman Jason Whalen as deputy mayor to serve in Anderson’s place when needed.
Anderson and Whalen are both attorneys and partners at the same law firm, Eisenhower Carlson PLLC in Tacoma.
The council is in the process of filling Richardson’s vacant seat. The council is expected to make its appointment on Feb. 4.
Anderson will preside over the council as it seeks to hire a new city manager. City Manager Andrew Neiditz is leaving to head South Sound 911, the new countywide emergency dispatch agency.
The agency’s policy board approved Neiditz’s contract Wednesday, setting his salary at $175,000. He will leave Lakewood next month; his first day at his new job is Feb. email@example.com