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Longtime council member new mayor

ENCINITAS — In a brief, special meeting Dec. 9, City Council voted unanimously to install Maggie Houlihan to replace Jerome Stocks as mayor. Councilman Dan Dalager was selected as the city’s deputy mayor in the same vote.
The passing of the gavel marks the end of Stocks’ yearlong tenure in the largely ceremonial position. The post rotates among council members with tradition holding that the representatives move one seat to the left each year until the mayor and deputy mayor’s seats are filled at the end of the dais. Traditionally, the council member serving as deputy mayor is assumed to move into the mayor’s position the following year.
However, the tradition has not always been recognized. A room full of residents came out to support Houlihan’s nomination as mayor. Wearing handmade stickers that said “Maggie 4 Mayor” and toting signs, several residents were prepared for a debate.
Richard Bentliff addressed the council and suggested that the three “gentlemen” — referring to Stocks, Dalager and Councilman Jim Bond — “make sure Maggie Houlihan is elected mayor.” Stocks readily agreed.
The mayor presides over council meetings, sets agendas in conjunction with the city manager and nominates council members to serve on regional boards. The new officers assumeD their duties effective Dec. 10.
Houlihan, who is serving her third term as a councilwoman, was mayor in 2004. “I’m looking forward to continuing to serve the people of Encinitas both at home and regionally,” she said after the meeting.