According to the City Charter, "In the absence of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall possess and perform the powers and duties of the Mayor." This typically means representing the City and chairing meetings of the City Council in the Mayor's absence.
Councilmember Michael Gregory made the motion to make Prola the Vice Mayor, which passed 4 to 3, with Councilmembers Benny Lee, Ursula Reed, and Diana Souza voting against Prola.
During Councilmember comments at the end of the meeting, Souza said, "...my vote against my colleague for Vice Mayor tonight was not because of his qualifications. I believe everyone is equally qualified to serve as Vice Mayor that sits up here on the dais. Many of you know I have not been Vice Mayor. I would have embraced the opportunity to be Vice Mayor and yes, I am very disappointed that I did not have the support of my colleagues for the opportunity to serve as Vice Mayor, but I am also okay with it for I know that in order to win that appointment I would have had to compromise my values and integrity got me elected and some would say that is just politics and I say "that is not my politics." Currently we have a process that generates an environment of conformity rather than collaboration, so I would like to challenge the Mayor and my colleagues to evaluate the current process and look for a process that will lead to a more collaborative collaboration in the Vice Mayor selection process as a tool to achieve all the great possibilities we have in San Leandro.
Reed said, "My vote was not against you. It was more around our action in that I think that during Councilmembers' terms there's enough time in a term for each one of our Councilmembers to have a chance to serve as Vice Mayor. And I think that since Councilmember Souza would have gone through this whole time without a term this year would have been her last chance to have that term and that's what I was more voting toward but either one of you - any one of us I believe are more than capable of being Vice Mayor..."
Last year, Reed offered a substitute motion to elect Souza as Vice Mayor, but it lost 3 to 4, with Mayor Stephen Cassidy, and Councilmembers Pauline Cutter, Gregory and Prola voting against Souza.
Prola will be the first Vice Mayor from District 6 in more than 15 years and will serve as Vice Mayor until June 2014.
Below is a recent history of San Leandro's Vice Mayors: