Jack Banta, who served on the city’s Harbor Commission, was selected Monday night to replace Leticia Colon on the City Council representing the City’s 131st District, which covers the South End, West End and Downtown. When Colon learned the City Charter prohibits City Council members from serving on another city board she had a decision to make: the legislative body or the Board of Education. She chose the school board where her vote is critical to the majority vote controlling education decisions.
While a state-appointed school board was running things Colon won a seat on the City Council. The Connecticut Supreme Court invalidated state control and reseated an elected school board following the results of September’s special election. Colon had been one of five school board members whose terms had not expired. She resigned from the council in favor of the school district where her vote is key to moving forward initiatives of Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas, the turnaround specialist who is expected to be in charge of the school district at least until the end of the school year in 2013.
Banta filling Colon’s slot had been rumored for months. The city’s 131st Council District is the domain of District Leader Mitch Robles. When a vacancy occurs on the legislative body, it’s filled by a vote of the council members. In practice, however, they follow the recommendation of the nine-member town committee representing the district advanced by, in this case, district leader Robles.
Banta resides in Seaside Village, a South End hamlet beset by flooding issues during major storms. Banta is well liked in the neighborhood. He’s visible in the district and always ready to extend a helping hand.
Banta was nominated Monday night by councilwoman Denese Taylor-Moye, also of the 131st District. The City Council has two members in each of the 10 council districts.