After serving on the City Council for decades, it appears that Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky will get his first crack at Council President in the coming year.
Novoselsky told the Journal it appears right now that he has at least eight votes from the Council to secure the spot. At the same time, it doesn’t appear that anyone else is mounting a campaign for the powerful post.
“I definitely have eight votes,” said Novoselsky on Monday. “Everyone seems pretty comfortable with the idea. This would be my first time as Council President in all the years I’ve served. I have been vice president three times, but never Council President. I did fill the roll of president for quite a while a few years ago when Mark Casella got sick, but I’ve never been elected.”
Novoselsky said if he is elected, he will likely boost the number of meetings and make some changes to the committees.
“I have to get elected first, but I would like to make some changes to the committees and let other people have a say on how committees are run,” he said. “I will definitely have at least two meetings a month. On the third meeting, I would push to just have committee meetings.”
He also alluded to the fact that he might start meetings at 5 p.m. rather than 6 p.m. – especially for the committee meeting week.
Meanwhile, it looks like first-term Councillor Jessica Giannino has lined up the votes to become the new Council Vice President – a real coup for the councillor who is just now coming into her own after one year’s service.
Giannino is the first woman to be elected to an officer’s position in many decades, and she just might be the youngest person to ever secure an officer’s position on the Council.
Meanwhile, changes on the Council committees will certainly be coming.
Last year, Councillor (and former mayor) Bob Haas got a bit of a snub by not being picked to chair any committee. He was the only councillor who did not have a chairmanship.
It was a snub that came for political reasons, to be sure, fallout from the mayoral and council elections of 2011.
Now, however, it appears he will be taking the helm at the all-important Economic Development Committee – a post that will be key as the casino debate continues and new developments start to take shape in other parts of the city. He will replace Councillor Tony Zambuto. The in-house election will take place prior to the first Council meeting of the year in January.