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.

215Mattapan HS2013June 26YYNNY
215Mattapan HS2013May15NNYYN
497Downtown school2013April3YYYYN
156 (24)Council rules
156 (40)Council rules
PresidentCouncil president2013January7MurphyMurphyMurphyMurphyYancey
1588Rental inspection2012December 19YNYNY
1517Teacher contract2012November7YNYYY
1518Teacher contract2012November7YNYYY
985 (T)Redistricting2012August22YNNYY
985 (A)Redistricting2012August22YNNYN
860State schools act2012June 20NYYYN
474Schools plan2012June 6YYYNY
474 (A)Schools plan2012May23YNNYY
474Schools plan2012May23YYYNY
1673City Clerk2011December 21FeeneyFeeneyFeeneyFeeneyCarithers
227Mattapan HS2011November30YNNNY
1249 (A)Ballot Qs2011September14NYYYN
934City budget2011June 29YYYYN
935Schools budget2011June 29YYYYN
222Youth workers2011April 13YNNNY
215Youth workers2010December 12YNNNY
TurnerChuck Turner2010December 1YYYYN
945City budget2010June 27YYYYN
946Schools budget2010June 27YYYYN


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.