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Vice Mayor of Clearwater proves to be tempting prize

CLEARWATER-- After wishing farewell to outgoing Vice Mayor Paul Gibson on Thursday, the City Council got busy selecting his successor to the ceremonial position.

The job, which mainly involves filling in for the mayor when he is absent or on a bathroom break during meetings, proved to be an appealing prize for three council members. Bill Jonson, Jay Polglaze and Doreen Hock-DiPolito all threw their political hats into the ring.

Mayor George Cretekos had suggested at Monday's council work session that the position just be rotated annually, which wouldn't require a vote of the five council members, but that idea didn't gain any traction.

When faced with three candidates, Cretekos quipped: "Y'all understand why I said this was awkward?"

It fell to newly-elected council member Hoyt Hamilton to anoint the honorary second. Hamilton chose Hock-DiPolito. Jonson seconded that motion. Cretekos voted for her and she voted for herself.

Polglaze voted no.

Hock-DiPolito, who was elected to the council without opposition in 2012, will fill the vice mayor role for the next year.