Kenneth City Mayor-elect Teresa Zemaitis may be sworn in Thursday

KENNETH CITY — Mayor-elect Teresa Zemaitis could be sworn in Thursday — a mere 44 days after she won the election by a landslide.

Zemaitis, 40, defeated incumbent Muriel Whitman, 82, with 70.5 percent of the vote in the March 10 election but could not be sworn in because of a little-known clause in the Kenneth City charter that forbids public employees from serving as mayor. The town sued Zemaitis to keep her from taking office, and a judge ruled that the clause was constitutional. Zemaitis has appealed the ruling.

The town and Zemaitis have reached a tentative settlement that would allow her to serve as mayor pro tem until the March 2010 election, when voters will have a chance to change the charter clause retroactively to allow her to take office. If the charter change does not pass, Zemaitis could continue with her appeal.

The council is scheduled to consider the settlement during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Community Hall, 4600 58th St. N. If the council passes the settlement, Zemaitis would be immediately sworn in. She would then appoint a vice mayor and department heads.

Kenneth City Mayor-elect Teresa Zemaitis may be sworn in Thursday 04/21/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 2:26pm]

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