As I took my place on the dais, a new greenhorn council member, I was immediately faced with a tough choice. Who should be our next mayor? Three of our seven member council volunteered or were nominated; Stephen Bershenyi, Leo McKinney and Michael Gamba.
For me this was a choice, not a decision. That made it no less easy or awkward, particularly as a new council member. For me, the choice was between Bershenyi and Gamba. McKinney has fulfilled that role for the last two years and it was just time for a change.
Webster defines choose as,” to select freely and after consideration” Last fall, I attended a Mastering Performance seminar with Jonathan Clark. We spent some time on the concept of choice vs decision. This one was hard for me to grasp. Tonight I get it.
Both Bershenyi and Gamba would have made excellent mayors. Bershenyi is intelligent and very well spoken. It is obvious that he loves Glenwood and acts consistently in the best interest of Glenwood and her citizens. Gamba is also intelligent and a straight shooter. He too is a champion for Glenwood and a visionary. Both are outspoken, but who on council isn’t. Because of my involvement on the Transportation Commission and the Victims and Law Enforcement Board, I have gotten to know Gamba.
But in a matter of a few moments, Council must make a choice that could affect the direction and set the tone of this Council for the next two years, at least. So that is what it came down to, a simple choice. In this instance I chose Gamba. I made this choice after consideration – brief as it was. The choice I made belongs to me, not to my reasons for choosing Gamba. I am completely comfortable with that choice.
This process still begs the question: is this best way to choose a mayor? I am not so sure, although there are some advantages. What I do know is that this is an awkward process and does nothing to enhance relationships and cohesiveness among City Council members. And to a greenhorn council member, it is a sensitive choice. My hat is off to anyone who is willing to serve in this position.
Thank you, Leo McKinney, for your service as Mayor for the last two years. Michael Gamba, best of luck to you in your new role.