For the third time since the April 2 election, the Superior City Council failed to elect a president after Councilor Esther Dalbec abstained from the vote.

And now they are seeking a legal opinion from the city attorney before proceeding with the vote at the June 4 meeting.

"Councilors, we need to move on from this," said Councilor Brent Fennessey, one of the nominees for council president. "It's been three goes at this. We're obviously at a stalemate."

Fennessey has had the support of Councilors Jack Sweeney, Craig Sutherland, Keith Kern, Esther Dalbec and himself consistently over the last month. Councilors Dan Olson, Jenny Van Sickle, Warren Bender, Tylor Elm and Ruth Ludwig have favored Ludwig for the leadership post. Olson and Sutherland abstained from the vote previously, which prevented creating a tie that would have allowed Mayor Jim Paine a tie-breaking vote and created the majority to elect a president.

Olson did serve as president in 2009 after drawing the high card, but then-Mayor Dave Ross declined to break a tie between Olson and former City Councilor Tom Bridge.

Fennessey made a motion Tuesday, May 21, to allow a deck of cards to decide the Council's leadership, a motion that Paine, as the chairman of Council, ruled out of order.

"I have no problem going with a cutting of the cards," Fennessey said.

"It's out of order because you can't suspend the rules for a basic principle of parliamentary law, which is to deprive councilors of the right to vote," Paine said. Paine is considered a member of the Council.

The vote was tabled Tuesday, May 21, to seek an opinion on whether the Council can elect a president by cutting the cards.

Six votes are needed for a motion to pass, Paine said.