By Seth Daniel
The City Council president race has been quietly going back and forth between Council President Leo Robinson and Council Vice President Damali Vidot for the last several weeks.
The showdown will likely continue as both court their fellow councillors for commitments and votes prior to a meeting that has been called to poll the members on Dec. 18. All that is needed is six votes, and the first candidate to achieve that commitment will emerge as the new president.
Vidot had an interest in pursuing the leadership spot last year, but put that on hold to become vice president and not take the post in her first term. Fresh off of a successful re-election effort, she said she wanted to pursue the position for the coming year.
“I’ve served as Vice President for two years and am prepared to facilitate conversations geared to community first and full adherence to the City Charter absent of personal attacks and status quo politics,” she said. “I believe it is my time, but if my colleagues determine that ‘it is not my time’ – as is typical in cases with women leaders – I will humbly continue to be a strong voice and advocate for the community. In all honesty, the title of president limits our ability to speak openly and so either way, it’s a win-win situation for myself and the residents of Chelsea.”
Meanwhile, Council President Leo Robinson has chosen to run again for the post and go for a second-straight year.
He said this week that he is a candidate and he’s running on a platform of experience.
He said the Council needs a proven leader at this moment in time, and he’s ready to continue his leadership into 2018.
As of now, it appears that both may have five committed votes, including themselves.
The key vote will likely boil down to Councillor Giovanni Recupero once again. Recupero is a supporter of both candidates, and will have a tough decision to make.
Meanwhile, there are also a number of wild cards in the race with three new councillors, including Bob Bishop, Calvin Brown and Joe Perlatonda. Their sentiments and leanings are completely unknown at the moment – though there are many assumptions as to where they might land.
All will be better known after the organizational meeting on Dec. 18, and then on inauguration night, Jan. 8, when the matter becomes official.