On Wednesday night, the Lodi City Council will select a new mayor — but it's not clear who that will be.
At the first meeting in December each year, the council typically votes to give the mayor's gavel to the vice mayor, in this case JoAnne Mounce.
That may or may not happen this year.
Mounce was chosen as vice mayor last year on a 3-2 vote, with Councilmen Larry Hansen and Bob Johnson voting against Mounce. Then-mayor Phil Katzakian and former councilwoman Susan Hitchcock joined Mounce in securing her position.
None of the current council members would comment for this story, but most said they are not sure what will happen Wednesday night.
Katzakian could emerge as a swing vote. He has frequently joined Hansen and Johnson on 3-2 votes with Mounce on the losing end. Hitchcock is off the council, replaced by Alan Nakanishi.
Nakanishi said because of state law, council members cannot discuss their votes before a meeting.
"I have not talked to anyone else, so I won't know until Wednesday," Nakanishi said.
Katzakian said he is not sure how the vote will go, and said he is not overthinking it before the meeting on Wednesday.
"Hopefully, everything works out OK. I plan to wait and see when I get there," he said.
In Lodi, the mayor is chosen after he or she is nominated by a fellow council member and a majority vote is cast. The vice mayor is chosen in the same manner.
Mayors have been passed up previously, but it is rare. The last time was in 2003, when the council bypassed then-vice mayor Emily Howard, and continued Hansen's term for another year during the complex and divisive groundwater contamination lawsuit.