Kerry McQuisten is Baker City’s new mayor.
City councilors, who choose the mayor from among their colleagues, elected McQuisten by a 6-1 vote Tuesday night at City Hall. Councilor Lynette Perry nominated McQuisten.
Councilor Heather Sells voted for Shane Alderson. Both Sells and Alderson are, like McQuisten, new councilors who were elected Nov. 3.
“I feel humbled by the confidence voters and then the other elected councilors have shown in me,” McQuisten said. “I’m also grateful for the chance to do some good in the community as mayor. My hope is that more citizens will turn out and start making their voices heard. I think the new city manager and council will bring some positive new changes, which is exciting.”
The Council, also by a 6-1 margin, elected Perry as vice mayor. Councilor Jason Spriet voted for Alderson. McQuisten nominated Perry.
Baker City’s charter doesn’t give the mayor veto power. The mayor presides over City Council meetings, enforces Council rules and signs ordinances and resolutions.
The vice mayor assumes those duties when the mayor isn’t available.
Tuesday’s 20-minute meeting was the first for five of the six councilors elected Nov. 3 — McQuisten, Sells, Alderson, Joanna Dixon and Johnny Waggoner Sr.
Spriet, the lone incumbent on the Nov. 3 ballot, was also elected.
Perry was elected to a four-year term in 2018 and was not on the ballot.
It was also the first meeting for City Manager Jonathan Cannon, whom the previous City Council hired in November.
All seven councilors attended Tuesday’s meeting in person at City Hall.
Four of the new councilors — McQuisten, Dixon, Waggoner and Alderson — gathered on the front steps of City Hall at 4 p.m. Tuesday to be sworn in. The councilors requested that option due to occupancy limits in City Hall prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sells and Spriet were sworn in just prior to the meeting, which started at 7 p.m. inside City Hall.
After electing McQuisten and Perry, councilors appointed members to several committees and boards, including Alderson to the Airport Commission; Spriet to the Public Works Advisory Committee; Dixon to the North Baker Transportation Improvement Plan Committee; Sells to the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District; and Alderson to the Transient Lodging Tax Committee.
Councilors will meet for a work session on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.