Carrie Rengers

City Council member Bryan Frye swears he wasn’t staging a coup

Wichita City Council member Bryan Frye, shown here at his 2015 swearing-in, had a somewhat odder swearing-in experience as vice mayor on Tuesday when he was also acting as mayor.
Wichita City Council member Bryan Frye, shown here at his 2015 swearing-in, had a somewhat odder swearing-in experience as vice mayor on Tuesday when he was also acting as mayor. The Wichita Eagle

City Council member Bryan Frye knew he was going to be sworn in as vice mayor on Tuesday, but he found himself in the mayor’s seat instead. Literally.

Mayor Jeff Longwell was out sick.

“So I’m like, do I sit in the mayor’s seat? Do I sit in my regular seat?” Frye says.

He was informed he should take the mayor’s seat for purposes of television cameras, so he sat there.

“I’m like, ‘So you’re not witnessing a coup.’ 

Frye ran the meeting until the time the mayor was supposed to lead the swearing-in of the new vice mayor.

“And then I said, ‘Oh, this is odd. I have to now go swear myself in,’ ” Frye says. “Staff was like, ‘I don’t think that’s ever happened before.’ 

For the record, a judge did the official swearing in, but it wasn’t quite the ceremony it normally is with the mayor orchestrating the moment.

Then Frye returned to the mayor’s seat and realized he immediately had to go back to where he was sworn in to honor a retiring employee.

“I didn’t expect all this walking today.”

All the power apparently did not go to his head.

“Absolutely not,” Frye says. “I was just making sure I wasn’t pushing the wrong buttons.”

He says it was all pretty comical.

“I hope the mayor was watching.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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