Garza explains that each councilmember is chosen by his/her district's constituents while the mayor is elected at-large (Raul Salinas only votes in the event of a tie). As far as he sees it, each representative should not have to lose the power to vote when serving as mayor pro tem. If one's voting eligibility is taken away, then councilmembers would shy away from filling in for the mayor, he concludes.
This whole notion about the mayor pro tem not being able to vote is a ridiculous concept...I don't know that it's ridiculous, but it's worth looking into. My own suggestion is: have a mayor that won't be absent from council meetings.