An unscheduled stop Monday on an elevator in the City-County Building left Salt Lake City temporarily mayor-less.

Mayor Palmer DePaulis and two visiting Japanese dignitaries were momentarily trapped while the charcoal at a barbecue in their honor grew cold."We're all on this elevator and it won't budge, it just won't budge," an amused DePaulis recalled Tuesday.

DePaulis and Matsumoto, Japan, Mayor Shoji Wago and his assistant, Yukikazu Kashiwazawa, both Sister City delegates visiting the city this week, were on a tour of the City-County Building, now under renovation.

DePaulis and the visitors left an afternoon barbecue at the home of City Council Chairman Tom Godfrey to take the estimated half-hour tour, telling Godfrey, "just put the coals on and we'll be right back."

A security guard urged the trio to take a ride to the building's fifth floor on the new elevator, which went without a hitch. But after descending to the fourth floor, the elevator doors refused to open.

The mayor and his Japanese guests set out to pry the elevator doors apart. The city fathers succeeded in prying apart a narrow escape, which a nimble Wago squeezed through. Kashiwazawa and DePaulis soon followed.