Sound Off: I’m confused about how the city elects its mayor. How does the process work?
The five commissioners on the Lawrence City Commission choose a commissioner to serve as mayor for a one-year term. The selection occurs each April. Commissioners are free to vote for any commissioner they choose, but in most years they have followed an unwritten rule of electing the vice mayor to serve as mayor. Commissioners normally choose the vice mayor based on the number of votes a commissioner received during the public election that happens once every two years. For example, in the first year following a City Commission election, the top vote-getter is traditionally chosen by commissioners to serve as vice mayor. In the second year following a City Commission election, the second place winner in the election is traditionally chosen by commissioners to serve as vice mayor. The system basically ensures that the top two vote winners in an election each will serve a one-year term as mayor.