Keith King knew his time as president of the Colorado Springs City Council was about to end, so he chose diplomacy over a battle Tuesday afternoon.

King nominated at-large Councilor Merv Bennett to become the new president, Bennett quickly was approved in a 9-0 vote, and just like that, the Council’s leadership changed hands in a special 10-minute meeting after the swearing-in ceremony a few hours earlier for new members Tom Strand and Bill Murray along with Bennett and Larry Bagley.

Jill Gaebler, who represents District 5 on Council, then was the only nominee for Council president pro-tem, the role that Bennett had held the past two years. Gaebler was elected by an 8-1 vote, with Councilor Helen Collins the only dissenter.

Bennett praised King for “setting the platform” for Council in his two years as president, “and I believe we have a very bright future.”

King then gave a short speech about his time as president, particularly his efforts to make the Council a stronger legislative body. And though rumors had been circulating that King might resign his District 3 seat if he lost the Council presidency, he said he was “honored to continue serving in this body.”

Bennett and King said they were looking forward to working with a new mayor, though that will have to wait until after the runoff between John Suthers and Mary Lou Makepeace, which ends May 19.


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