Every six months, the Orem City Council votes on a mayor pro tempore to stand in place of the mayor when he or she is gone or unable to conduct mayoral responsibilities.
Beginning Wednesday, freshman Councilman Terry Peterson was chosen by the council to fill that responsibility. He was sworn in on Tuesday.
Peterson is a longtime Orem resident and is passionate about serving all Orem neighborhoods, according to Steven Downs, deputy city manager.
“I want to continue working to preserve our quality of life, beautify and strengthen our neighborhoods, and listen and address your concerns,” Peterson said. “Orem is a fantastic place to raise a family, and I will continue working with the mayor and council to keep it that way.”
Being the mayor pro tem is a much needed role in the city and for the council, according to Mayor Richard Brunst.
“They take my place at City Council and work meetings if I can’t go,” Brunst said. “They represent me at county committee meetings or other meetings for whatever reason I can’t be there.”
The role of pro tem is rotated through the council. Councilwoman Debby Lauret just recently served in the position and on occasion had to represent the mayor and council at meetings or on tours when the mayor was double booked.
Brunst noted that when Councilman David Spencer was mayor pro tem and had to run a council meeting it was the second shortest meeting on record at 12 minutes.
“It’s helpful for members of the council to act as mayor pro tem and be involved,” Brunst said.
Brunst recalled when former Mayor Jerry Washburn was diagnosed with cancer and was taking treatments that mayor pro tem Carl Hernandez, a member of the council, filled in for Washburn for several months.
Brunst said there are many things that may not get done if he didn’t have a stand-in helper. He is very much looking forward to working with Peterson in this new assignment.