If all goes according to tradition, council member John Inks will be appointed mayor of Mountain View on Jan. 8, and Chris Clark will not only be sworn in as a council member, but also as vice mayor.
Mountain View's City Council members rotate into the mayor post for a year, usually serving as vice mayor the year before. After four years it's finally Inks' turn, based on the number of votes received in the last election. The council will take a vote on Tuesday to determine who as mayor will run meetings, set meeting agendas, give speeches at ceremonies and be on call to meet with the public and speak to the press.
Clark, a 29-year-old Loopt executive, is in line behind Inks, having finished just ahead of Baskin-Robbins owner John McAlister in the final vote tally.
If Inks is passed over, it wouldn't be the first time.
"It is a presumptive assumption," Inks said. "You can make no guarantees. There could be some drama. I don't know because we don't talk about it ahead of time."
Inks, a retired Lockheed engineer known for libertarian positions, said he would continue to make it a priority to meet with residents, business owners and developers and "assist people when they get stuck with city planning or public works." He mentioned in particular the mixed-use project proposed for the 600 block of Castro Street and owners of "underutilized" properties on El Camino Real.
The vice mayor will take the helm when the mayor is away or recusing himself due to a conflict of interest -- as Inks will do when the council votes on the San Antonio shopping center development this year (he owns property nearby).
Inks is studying up on parliamentary procedures and the intricacies of motions and amendments. "There's not like a manual they give you on what to do," Inks said, though he says he's found the League of Women Voters to have some helpful resources on the topic of running meetings.
"I actually admire the way (current mayor Mike) Kasperzak has managed the meetings," Inks said. "He is very experienced. He will probably be sitting next to me again. Not that I need help, but I'll certainly welcome help."
Inks said he probably won't copy Kasperzak's rules about speakers having to get in line behind the podium.
"I'm probably not going to be so rigid in that regard," Inks said. "The idea is not to limit people's speech but to have an orderly meeting."
Inks is contemplating whether to have regular office hours for the public and call it "Drinks with Inks" -- a twist on Mike Kasperzak's "Mocha with the Mayor," and "Yack with Jac" when Jac Siegel was mayor. But he says he'd rather not imply that alcohol would be involved. He said he plans to make himself available for "any public request 24-7," and will "generally meet morning, noon and night."