For the second year in a row, Councillor Jessica Giannino’s effort to lead the Ciy Council as President appears to have fallen short. Ward 5 Councilor John Powers has seemingly gathered the necessary six votes to assume the position when the official vote will be cast at the first meeting on January 5.
The method supposedly used last year and this year of choosing the President of the City Council by picking names out of a hat, has Giannino questioning whether this is the best way to elect a City Council President.
“I think it’s another slap in the face and not just to me, but also to the voters and taxpayers of the city that this is the way elected officials make decisions,” she said last week.
Reached by phone, Powers said that he couldn’t confirm anything but said he would be in the running when the official vote occurs on Jan. 5.
“I can say that I’ve been Council President before and if I am elected Council President on Jan. 5, I’ll run a very good meeting and be fair and impartial,” he said. “I’d like to help the mayor move the City forward again.”
Powers was president in 2009 and 2011 also.
Apparently, most of the other councillors did not seek the office.
“I’m more vocal about it this year,” Giannino said. “I’m not one to make comments on these things and last year I didn’t want to be too vocal about it and I was the new person and took it in stride. I’m not going to be quiet about it this year because it’s a slap in the face and a disservice to the voters in this city.”
She made a similar statement last week at the Dec. 8 meeting prior to the drawing, praising the efforts of Council President Zambuto over this past year and calling for the Council to go back to a process that didn’t rely upon picking a name out of a hat.
Traditionally, candidates for the position have lobbied their colleagues for the necessary six votes. That had been the protocol for years, but was changed abruptly last year when, after the November 2013 election, long-standing support for Councillor Jessica Giannino suddenly began to erode.