The new mayor of Big Bear Lake for the coming year is Liz Harris, following a 4-1 vote at last night’s meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake. Outgoing Mayor Rick Herrick opened the Council reorganization by noting, “I’ve truly enjoyed the last few years, sitting here as mayor,” though added, “it’s time for somebody else to sit here for a bit” before nominating Harris, based on her “great leadership” and other qualities cited, such as being “very diplomatic, very smart.” Councilmember Michael Karp, the only member of the five-member body who has not yet served as mayor, asked for discussion—as procedure and policy were not on the agenda, Karp then asked for discussion on mayor selection for a future agenda before adding, “I wanted to explain, in some form or fashion, my nay vote, so people can read between the lines.” Karp, as well as Darrell Mulvihill, also voted down the nomination of Bill Jahn, to serve another term as mayor pro tem, a position he retains given the 3-2 vote in which he was supported by Harris and Herrick. Mulvihill and Karp were, however, unanimously voted in to serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, for the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District, though the chairmanship for the City’s Improvement Agency was not a unanimous choice. Herrick nominated Jahn to serve as the chairman of the agency, which oversees redevelopment and the expenditure of redevelopment funds; this position had been held by Harris. All told, Jahn received a 4-1 vote (with Muvihill opposed), and Harris was selected as vice chair of the Improvement Agency in a 4-1 vote (with Karp opposed).
Big Bear Lake City Councilmembers attend weekly meetings, given additional committee assignments, as well as functions and events on behalf of the City. As compensation, Councilmembers receive $300 per month to attend the regular second and fourth Monday meetings, while the mayor receives an additional $50 per month stipend. For each Fire Protection Board meeting (once a month), Councilmembers receive $100; for months when there is an Improvement Agency meeting, they receive $30 per month. Additional benefits for Council’s time and effort include 100% HMO coverage (like that of City employees) for medical, dental and vision, provided by Big Bear Valley practitioners.