Q&A #3: The New City Council President Is…

“Rob” asks:

Who is in contention to become Boston City Council president? And odds on who gets it?

Great question. The Dorchester Reporter recently took a look at this, which pretty much equates with what I’ve heard—that Matt O’Malley and Tito Jackson both want it, and there will likely be one other candidate emerging from the “nice older neighborhood guy” caucus of Ciommo/LaMattina/Linehan. Also Charles Yancey is Charles Yancey, and he’s running for city council president.

Interesting dynamic: Tito stumped hard for Marty Walsh in the late stages of the mayoral campaign (after his pal Felix Arroyo was knocked out), while Matt O’Malley was all in for John Connolly from the start.

Also interesting: This is the first council president vote in a long, long time where nobody is worried about that office’s holder taking over the mayor’s office if the current mayor leaves. It gives the process a totally different vibe.

Also, also interesting: four of the 13 votes will be cast by newly elected councilors, who are likely to be particularly keen on getting good committee assignments from the new president—and are probably sophisticated and independent enough to use their vote for president as a bargaining chip.

Also, also, also interesting: Does Walsh want to insert himself into this process to ensure a friendly council president? And does he want to send an early signal that attention to constituent-service requests will depend on fealty to mayoral wishes? If yes to both, he could put a lot of pressure on councilors—especially a couple of those newcomers.

My guess—and this is really just a wild guess—is that Ciommo retains Ways and Means, Tito gets the open Education chair, and either LaMattina or O’Malley gets the presidency. I’m going to place a small wager on LaMattina—or I would, if he hadn’t lost that casino vote.

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