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Civics lesson

Cathie Rowand
Deputy Mayor Mark Becker signs a bill into law. City Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, sits to his right.

Media events for Mayor Tom Henry to sign bills into law have become fairly regular occurrences – much more so than under Mayor Graham Richard.

What was unusual about the event on Tuesday, however, was there was no mayor. Henry was supposed to sign changes to the city's drug house bill that were sponsored by Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, but became ill and could not attend.

City spokesman Frank Suarez said he was going to cancel the event altogether until it was suggested that Deputy Mayor Mark Becker take the mayor's place. What wasn't known was whether the deputy could officially sign a bill into law, but after some legal checking, it was determined he had that authority when the mayor was unavailable.

Becker said it was the first time he's ever gotten the chance to sign a bill in his two terms as deputy, although he admitted it likely won't be a regular occurrence.

"Maybe once every three years," he joked.

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