MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The City of Morgantown has designated a new deputy mayor.
By 6-1 vote, with former deputy mayor Mark Brazaitis as the lone dissenting vote, Jenny Selin was appointed to fill the seat vacated earlier in the evening.
Earlier in the meeting, Brazaitis was stripped of his title as deputy mayor — a ceremonial title under Robert’s Rules of Order. The vote was 5-2, with Brazaitis and councilman Barry Wendell voting for Brazaitis to retain his role as deputy mayor.
Briefly following that vote, Brazaitis re-nominated himself to take over as deputy mayor. That vote failed 6-1, with only Brazaitis voting in favor of himself.
“I am concerned about the way he conducts the office, specifically alienating key people the council will need to work with,” said Councilman Ryan Wallace.
Barry Wendell said he would not support Brazaitis’ removal, citing a decision not to ally himself with those in the city or in the media who have called for Brazaitis’ resignation.
“I have some issues with how the deputy mayor has run some meetings,” Wendell said. “Still, I have to say it, I have to look at the people that have been against him.”
Brazaitis, speaking in his own defense, called it unfair for anyone to use his well-documented history of mental illness as a political tool against him.
He also said his vision for the city is one reason he should remain as deputy mayor.
“If we keep the status quo, our city’s going to be run out seven miles to Mylan Park,” he said.
During the public portion, several members of the community spoke in defense of Brazaitis.
“He has been a kind and compassionate and steady colleague,” WVU professor Katy Ryan said. “You all know his reputation as a teacher. It’s outstanding.”
Brazaitis is banned from WVU’s campus for the semester and will be assigned research from home until he is approved to return to the classroom.
“There are other members of council here that I’d like to see resign,” Tony Christin said. “(Brazaitis) is not one of them.”
Two people called for Brazaitis to resign entirely.
“You have the ability to decide whether he is still qualified to be a council person,” Adam Rosefsky said. “I think that it is your duty, your responsibility to the people of Morgantown.”