Mayoral Candidates and Their Council Votes

Felix Arroyo has been a voice of opposition on the Boston City Council far more frequently than John Connolly, Rob Consalvo, or Mike Ross, since he joined them on the council in 2010—though not close to the level of Charles Yancey.

Rob Consalvo, by contrast, has been on the losing side of a vote only twice in that three-and-a-half-year period.

Those five, who are all running for mayor this year, have voted the same way all but 29 times in full session, according to City Council minutes I reviewed going back to January 2010. (The Council has no convenient compilation of roll call votes, or any particularly useful way of providing such a record.)

Yancey voted in the minority on 22 of those 29 votes. Arroyo was next with 12; then Ross with 7, Connolly 6, and Consalvo 2.

There have been other disagreements, but these are the times when a full recorded yea-or-nay vote took place.

It may be helpful to know which other councilor (not including the other mayoral candidates) each of the five votes most similarly to. According to my analysis:

• Arroyo votes most like Tito Jackson; least like Bill Linehan.

• Connolly votes most like Matt O’Malley; least like Tito Jackson.

• Consalvo votes most like Sal Lamattina; least like Frank Baker.

• Ross votes most like Matt O’Malley; least like Frank Baker.

• Yancey votes most like Tito Jackson; least like Mark Ciommo and Stephen Murphy.

Here is my chart of those votes (compiled with research assistance from Oliver Bok); blue indicates the majority vote, red the minority. More details below.

Docket Topic Year Month Date Arroyo Connolly Consalvo Ross Yancey
215 Mattapan HS 2013 June 26 Y Y N N Y
215 Mattapan HS 2013 May 15 N N Y Y N
497 Downtown school 2013 April 3 Y Y Y Y N
156 (24) Council rules
2013 January 16 Y Y N Y Y
156 (40) Council rules
2013 January 16 Y N N N Y
President Council president 2013 January 7 Murphy Murphy Murphy Murphy Yancey
1588 Rental inspection 2012 December 19 Y N Y N Y
1517 Teacher contract 2012 November 7 Y N Y Y Y
1518 Teacher contract 2012 November 7 Y N Y Y Y
1343 Redistricting 2012 October 31 Y Y Y Y N
498 Redistricting 2012 September 19 Y Y N Y N
985 (T) Redistricting 2012 August 22 Y N N Y Y
985 (A) Redistricting 2012 August 22 Y N N Y N
985 Redistricting 2012 August 22 N N Y N N
860 State schools act 2012 June 20 N Y Y Y N
474 Schools plan 2012 June 6 Y Y Y N Y
474 (A) Schools plan 2012 May 23 Y N N Y Y
474 Schools plan 2012 May 23 Y Y Y N Y
1673 City Clerk 2011 December 21 Feeney Feeney Feeney Feeney Carithers
227 Mattapan HS 2011 November 30 Y N N N Y
1249 (A) Ballot Qs 2011 September 14 N Y Y Y N
934 City budget 2011 June 29 Y Y Y Y N
935 Schools budget 2011 June 29 Y Y Y Y N
222 Youth workers 2011 April 13 Y N N N Y
183 Fingerprints/CORI 2011 March 23 Absent Y Y Y N
215 Youth workers 2010 December 12 Y N N N Y
Turner Chuck Turner 2010 December 1 Y Y Y Y N
945 City budget 2010 June 27 Y Y Y Y N
946 Schools budget 2010 June 27 Y Y Y Y N


Mattapan High School. Yancey has brought his pet cause up several times over the years. Sometimes, as in the May 15, 2013 vote, the council is voting on a motion to table the issue; other times they are voting on authorizing the project. Connolly says that he voted against it in the November 2011 vote because he was not given advance notice it would be brought forward, so he had no time to evaluate the language; he had supported it previously. Yancey’s vote against the downtown school can be seen largely as a protest against the refusal to build the Mattapan school.

Council rules. In adopting its own rules this year, there were two split votes. First, a change passed to allow councilors to, in effect, rescue bills being held up in committee; Mark Ciommo, Sal LaMattina, Bill Linehan and Steve Murphy joined Consalvo in voting against it. The second, acknowledging the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on the council’s ejection of Chuck Turner, was rejected.

Rental inspection. Connolly and Ross voted against this ordinance, sponsored by Matt O’Malley, which is currently going into effect.

Teacher contract. Procedurally, there were two votes to authorize the new contract negotiated between the city and the Boston Teachers Union; Connolly has made much during the campaign of being the lone vote against.

Redistricting. The August 22, 2012 vote listed here as 985 (T) was Yancey’s attempt to delay the vote on Linehan’s map, through a motion to table. 985 (A) was a failed attempt to adopt Tito Jackson’s substitute amendment. The final vote that day was the successful adoption of Linehan’s map. Following a mayoral veto of that, there were two votes adopting the Jackson map, in September and October.

State schools act. This resolution, introduced by Connolly, was to declare support of legislation in the state senate for school reform.

Schools plan. These votes were on the Boston Public School department’s plan to close, merge, and move schools. The amendment, labelled 474 (A), was Ross’s attempt to maintain the Mission Hill school that was slated to move. The other two votes were for the full proposal, which Ross voted against when his amendment failed.

Budgets. Yancey cast the lone dissent against both the school budget and overall city budget in both 2010 and 2011.

Youth workers. Both of these votes related to a failed proposal for the city to hire up to 300 additional youth and street workers.

Fingerprints/CORI. Yancey was the lone dissent on an ordinance to require fingerprint and criminal-record checks on those applying for certain types of licenses.

Turner. The vote to expel Turner from the council.

David S. Bernstein
David S. Bernstein David S. Bernstein, Contributing Editor, Boston Magazine