New Sunnyvale City Council, Mayor, Vice Mayor 2012

By Alia Wilson, Sunnyvale Sun 01/11/2012

For the second time in his two terms on the Sunnyvale City Council, Anthony “Tony” Spitaleri will serve as mayor of Sunnyvale after the majority his fellow council members appointed him to the position at the Jan. 10 council meeting.

The Sunnyvale City Council Chamber was standing-room only at the Tuesday night meeting for the appointment of Sunnyvale’s new mayor and vice mayor. David Whittum will be taking the vice mayoral duties.  

Spitaleri, who served as mayor from 2007 to 2009, will serve another two-year term, while Whittum, re-elected to the city council this past November, will be at the vice mayor post for one year.

“As your mayor, I want you to know that I will continue to push forward as I did at one time to bring cities together,” Spitaleri said after the appointment. “I’m ready to make a difference. I want each of you to share your ideas, thoughts and concerns with me.

“I will work with you, my fellow council members, to continue to commit to promote a safe place to live, a clean environment and the highest level of service.”

Meanwhile, taking the dais for the first time at the meeting were new council members Pat Meyering, Tara Martin-Milius and Jim Davis.

After bidding farewell to outgoing former mayor Melinda Hamilton, Councilman Otto Lee and the late Ron Swegles, the new council members were sworn in. The new members wasted no time after being seated at the dais, as voting for the new mayor and vice mayor took place shortly after the swearing-in ceremony.

For the mayor’s seat, Davis, a recently retired Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officer, nominated Tony Spitaleri, a retired Palo Alto fire captain. Meyering nominated Whittum, who nominated former vice mayor Jim Griffith for the position.

The three council members publicly stated their interest in the position, as did councilman Chris Moylan, who was not nominated for mayor.

Council members cannot nominate themselves, nor can they privately ask multiple colleagues for nominations, as that would be a violation of the Brown Act.

In the first round of voting, Spitaleri received three “yes” votes from Martin-Milius, Davis and himself; two “no” votes from Meyering and Whittum; and two abstentions from Griffith and Moylan. Whittum received votes from Meyering, Moylan and himself; one “no” vote from Davis and three abstentions from Spitaleri, Martin-Milius and Griffith.

Griffith was eliminated from the running with only one “yes” vote from himself; two “no” votes from Meyering and Davis; and four abstentions from Spitaleri, Martin-Milius, Moylan and Whittum.

In the second go-around, Spitaleri won the position of mayor with four “yes” votes from himself, Martin-Milius, Griffith and Davis; one “no” vote from Whittum and two abstentions from Meyering and Moylan.

The city used to have a rotation for the mayor’s seat, with the most senior person who had not served as mayor before having priority to the position, as long as he or she got the majority of votes every year, according to city officials.

But in 2007, the voters changed the mayor’s term from one year to two years. The criteria that the council bases its decision on were developed by a Charter Review Committee in 2006 and adopted in 2007. The criteria include leadership, executive skills, integrity and commitment.

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