As the new configuration of the Council approaches a January inauguration, already plenty of politicking is being done to secure the transformed body’s new leader.
Council President Leo Robinson will be one incumbent who is returning to the Council, but it is typically frowned upon for one to seek a second term. He also apparently lacks the support even if he were pursuing it, which he isn’t.
That leaves three councillors who are now jockeying for the post, including Councillor-election Roy Avellaneda, Councillor Giovanni Recupero and Councillor Matt Frank.
The process will work itself out next month when the returning Council members and the newly elected members will sit down for a caucus on the subject. At that point, those in the room will pledge their support to their choice for president. The first to receive a majority will be tabbed as the designated choice. However, an official vote does not take place until right after the inauguration in January. Things can certainly change in that period of time, but the custom has been to stick with the caucus.
Avellaneda, who has been on the Council previously, said he is pursuing the post.
“I am pursuing council president and I’ve had a couple of conversations asking for support,” he said. “No one has officially committed yet. I hope they’ll look at my experience and willingness to work with everybody and the way I’ve been trying to consult them in getting prepared for the Council as a true sign of a leader. It’s not locked in yet. A few would support me and others are thinking about it.”
Councillor Matt Frank said he is actively pursuing it, and was the president just two years ago before Robinson.
“I am publicly poking around about it,” he said. “I would like to be president again. When I was president previously we opened up a lot of what we did and brought a lot of new people into the Chambers…I was fair with my colleagues, even those I disagreed with. I’ll work with everybody regardless. I have the track record to show for it and I’m open to the public.”
Talk around the coffee table indicated that Frank may have Councillor-elect Damali Vidot’s vote already in place, as he made a late season endorsement of her candidacy just prior to the election. Some have indicated that was a quid-pro-quo agreement, but neither confirmed that.
Meanwhile, Recupero did not publicly acknowledge his bid for president, but others have mentioned he is looking for support.
It is believed he might have the support of some of the incumbents on the Council and some of the newcomers that he helped in the past election.
Of course, nothing is set in stone on this internal Council scramble until much later next month, and just about anything can happen until the caucus is convened.