Council switches up leadership

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Littleton City Council unanimously elected a new mayor Nov. 19, choosing Phil Cernanec to replace Debbie Brinkman.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as mayor,” said Brinkman. “I support the decision of the body and I look forward to working with our new leadership as we continue to move Littleton forward.”

Brinkman’s four-year term in District 4 ends in 2015, and she’ll be eligible to run for one more term after that.

Cernanec’s bid to be mayor two years ago fell one vote short, with councilors Jim Taylor and Bruce Beckman voting for him. Councilors Peggy Cole, Jerry Valdes and Bruce Stahlman supported Brinkman in 2011.

“I have a real appreciation for what Debbie has done in the past two years,” Cernanec said the morning after this year’s decision. “She’s nurtured the city’s connections with other communities, and she’s passionate about things that are positive and good. I appreciate her enthusiasm and courage, and I do look forward to continuing to work together. The city is too important for us not to be talking about a team of seven.”

All seven councilors also voted to make Beckman — who won the at-large race Nov. 5 to earn four more years — the new mayor pro tem.

“I am proud to represent the city as a council member at large and will continue to focus on issues in my role as a citywide elected council member,” he said. “I am honored to have been chosen by the council to serve as the mayor pro tem. This is an opportunity to represent the city, serve council, and to assist the mayor as needed. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges of the next two years.”

Stahlman declined to accept the position for a second term.

“Council has a number of strong leaders, so it made sense to give someone else the opportunity to serve as pro tem,” said Stahlman, whose second-place win on Election Day got him another two years. “Mayor Brinkman’s legacy is beyond reproach in laying a foundation that sets Littleton on a positive future trajectory. The list of accomplishments is too numerous to mention, but the community will certainly benefit from her considerable efforts. I know we’re all excited to work with Mayor Cernanec and Mayor Pro Tem Beckman to build upon the success of the past two years.”

Judge Ethan Feldman swore both Bruces in to their new terms, along with Cernanec, who ran unopposed in District 3, and Randy Stein, council’s only new member. He replaces the term-limited Taylor in District 1.