Ward Seven City Councilor Marc Laredo was elected president of Newton’s next city council at a caucus of his peers Thursday night.
Laredo was elected on a voice vote after Councilor Susan Albright dropped out of the contest, apparently after realizing that she was at least one vote short.
But the big surprise of the night was the election of Ward Eight City Councilor David Kalis as vice president. Kalis was nominated after the caucus was deadlocked 11-11 (with Brenda Noel abstaining) between the expected candidates Rick Lipof and Vicki Danberg. Under caucus rules, Lipof and Danberg were eliminated from consideration after three tied votes.
That lead to a new round of VP nominations, starting with a three way contest between surprised-to-be-nominated Councilors Barbara Brousal-Glaser, Alison Leary and Kalis.
Brousal-Glaser, was eliminated on a first round vote and Kalis was elected, 13-10, on a second vote.
Missing from the proceeding was Councilor-elect Andrea Kelley, who was out of town celebrating the birth of a grandson. Kelley’s absence might have been a factor not just in the Lipof/Danberg VP contest but to Albright’s decision to drop out.
Laredo will now have the important task of appointing the chairs, vice chairs and members of the council’s committees.
Given the departure at the end of this year of seven veteran councilors (Scott Lennon, Ted Hess-Mahan, Amy Sangiolo, Dick Blazar, Brian Yates, Jay Harney and, course, Mayor-elect Ruthanne Fuller), the president-elect’s going to have a lot of interesting decisions to make.