Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Boston City Council Elects New President

By City Charter, City Council terms expire at 10AM on the 1st Monday of January after each municipal election, so returning and new Councilors are sworn in then. The first Council meeting of the term takes place at 12PM on that 1st Monday of the year, where the main business is to elect a new City Council President. The most senior member of the Council (defined by age, not years in office) presides over the meeting until the new President is elected. That meant that yesterday Bill Linehan (who just turned 65) held the gavel until the newly elected President, Michele Wu, took over.

Council Rules: City Council voted to pass the 2014-2015 City Council rules (except for Rule 36, Council Committees) as temporary rules until permanent rules are adopted for the new term. The Rules define our procedures and organization, outlining the different Council Committees and respective areas of oversight.

Council President: Councilor-At-Large Michele Wu was elected City Council President by a unanimous vote, and took the gavel from Councilor Linehan at this point in the meeting. President Wu spoke for a few minutes about goals for the next term - transparency and accessibility first and foremost. City Council will also dive in on major policy areas that came out of conversations with fellow Councillors over the last few weeks: reducing income inequality, reforming our criminal justice system, improving educational opportunities, and preparing for climate change. City Council was then honored to have Mayor Walsh and Senator Elizabeth Warren address them.

Detective Joe Gallant Foundation Grant: As requested by Councilor McCarthy, City Council voted to suspend and pass a $10K grant for the Detective Joe Gallant Foundation to support the Family Justice Center.

Zoning Commission: Mayor Walsh filed to appoint Jeanne Levesque to the Zoning Commission until Nov. 2018. This was sent to the Committee of the Whole until new committees are voted on.

Residency Policy Commission: City Council received notification that the Commission filed a report, which was sent to the Committee of the Whole.

Diversity in Post-secondary Institutions: Councilor Jackson filed for a hearing to continue his discussions on diversity in post-secondary institutions. This was sent to the Committee of the Whole.

Finally, the meeting concluded with a moment of silence for Howard Leibowitz, Linda Walczak, and Mike Mullane - three individuals we lost at the end of 2015 who contributed immensely to the city in their respective fields.

For prior Boston City Council meeting notes, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email.

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