METHUEN — City Councilors need to designate an acting mayor before Mayor James Jajuga leaves for a five-day vacation from City Hall starting Monday.
The decision should have been made during the council's organizational meeting on Jan. 2, 2018, but was overlooked. Now, they'll discuss and take a vote at a special public meeting in the Great Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m. The topic was added to an existing agenda.
Methuen's charter, a document that spells out city rules, requires an acting mayor to be in place when the mayor is away for five or more business days, which will be the case next week.
That person is responsible for the mayor's duties on the fourth working day of his or her absence, according to the charter.
The acting mayor has all powers that come with the position except for making permanent appointments or removals.
City councilors received an email from Jajuga's office early this week informing them of the planned vacation and misstep that councilors had not already decided who would be at the helm next Thursday and Friday.
Chairwoman Jennifer Kannan said this could be the last time an acting mayor is required by charter.
"Until the charter is changed, we do have to follow it," she said. "In this case, it's just vacation so the acting mayor is necessary in case of emergency."
Also at the Thursday night special meeting, there will be discussion — and possible approval — of recommendations made by the Charter Review Committee, as well as the city's ordinance regarding hotel and motel policies.
At the end of the agenda is a discussion to increase the mayor's term from two years to four by city vote.
The public is welcome to attend.