We’re not done yet. On Tuesday a court-ordered Democratic primary for City Council will take place in the North End 133rd District, followed by a general election Dec. 12. But on Dec. 4 the incoming legislative body is scheduled to choose a new president to replace outgoing Tom McCarthy. Can 133rd District incumbents McCarthy and Jeanette Herron cast a vote for council president? It appears so, according to language in the City Charter.
From Chapter 5, Section 1(c) City Charter
“Council members shall serve for a term of two years from the first day of December next succeeding their election and until their successors are elected and have qualified.”
From Chapter 2, Section 8, City Charter, Term of Office
“All elected and appointed officers of the town and city shall hold their respective offices during the terms for which they shall be chosen and until the choice and qualification of their successor, except in case of their prior death, resignation, or removal from office.”
The 133rd District council representatives will not be decided until Dec. 12. All four Democrats who competed in the September 12 primary will do so again Nov. 14: Bob Keeley and Anne Pappas Phillips versus party-endorsed Herron and Michael DeFilippo. The top two finishers among the four on Nov. 14 will face Republicans Michele Minutolo and Neville De la Rosa Dec. 12. This stems from Keeley’s court challenge of Herron’s 1-vote win after a previously uncounted absentee ballot cast for Herron found its way into a recount. Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ordered a new election.
Herron’s name has been floated as a potential candidate for council president. East Side councilor Aidee Nieves, reelected on Tuesday, is also among the mix. East End council member Eneida Martinez, also reelected on Tuesday, says she’d like the position. South End/Downtown councilwoman Denese Taylor-Moye and AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia from the North End 134th District as well. And then, there’s Ernie Newton who says he’d like the position he had way back in 1981.
So let the games begin.
From the charter:
At the beginning of each term of office the city council shall elect from among its members one council member to be president of the city council who shall serve for a term until November 30 of the next odd-numbered year or until the president of the council’s successor has been elected. The president of the city council shall preside in the absence of the mayor, and when so presiding shall have a casting vote in case of a tie in addition to his/her vote as council member. In the absence of the mayor and the president of the city council at any meeting, the city council may choose one of its members to act as president for the occasion who, when so presiding, shall have a casting vote in case of a tie in addition to his/her vote as council member. In the event of the death, resignation or inability to act of the president of the city council, the council shall elect another president in his place.
… The mayor shall preside at the meetings of the city council, but shall have no vote therein except in case of a tie. The mayor shall not vote to break a tie in the election of city council president or adoption of an ordinance.
… In the event that the mayor is temporarily absent or temporarily disabled and is, because of such absence or disability, unable to perform the duties of his office, the president of the city council shall possess all of the powers and perform all of the duties of the mayor until the mayor is able to act.
… In the event that a vacancy occurs, for any reason, in the office of mayor, the president of the city council shall act as mayor, until the office of mayor is filled as provided in subSection (c) of this section.
Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor, other than during the final year of such mayor’s term of office, the city council shall cause a special election for the office of mayor to be held not less than 120 nor more than 150 days from the date that such vacancy occurs. The person elected mayor at such special election shall take office on the 7th calendar day following his/her election and shall serve the unexpired portion of the term vacated. In the event the vacancy occurs during the final year of the mayor’s term, the president of the city council shall become mayor and serve for the unexpired portion of the term vacated.